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t not be 

hated for 

I by many 

of whom 

One of the most ominous of recent utterances 
by European statesmen is a speech by Count 
Karolyi, leader of the Opposition in the Hun- 
garian Parliament. His argument was to this 
effect: Though Austria-Hungary is one Empire 
under one Sovereign, that Sovereign is crowned 
specially in Buda-Pest as "Apostolic King of Hun- 
gary"; the Parliament of Hungary is absolutely 
independent of that of Austria, and there is no 

legislative bond between them; the only political,'' Austria Versailles, ,e 
connection between the two countries is one of Bohemia 
an administrative sort, certain matters of com- trIa from 
mon interest to the two countries being dealt with Emperors 


>yal fam- 
the great 
sburg, or 
is proml- 
ured and 


k the im- 

andfather, f? /f '* 

! alliance 


ntates of 
s family 

by their respective "delegations," which meet 1806 * an( * 
alternately in Vienna and Buda-Pest. hold their 00 , while 

at differ- 

n domioa- 
I ft airs. 

on has de- 

ed on this --lone 

> touch, a 

i as muc: 

passing of n q 

e last half- under the 

In Austria 
ed by an 


heir Habs-' pro E, hc 

^ an Empire 
r the Oer-, nly thc oId 

8alvatlon. :et her. But 
in 962, has be< i 
Ion of the^aste ib pre- 
udolph In Z* le before 


Imcultie* of 

sessions separately, and communicate to each 
other their respective decisions. Practically thisition. 
means that the only permanent and continuously 'le record, 
operative bond between them is their common Bsmen of 
Sovereign. if Charles 

Count Karolyi called attention to the fact thatamily dls- 
when the common army of the Empire was lately ty. One 
placed under the supreme command of the dor- derlck of 
toan Emperor and his General Staff "for military in 1440, 
considerations," the "King" of Hungary, who is J( Austriae C 
also the "Emperor" of Austria, was deprived of:h seemed 
the sovereignty of both countries. He arguea rhich was 
that this was putting both the Empire and the :harles v of Berl!n * 
Kingdom in a very dangerous position, because , rlandg in ?rzegovina c 
when the time comes to discuss terms of peace — , King of ' n 
which means "when Germany is beaten" — the , tne ther 
German Government can constitutionally and -, eeaea t0 

legally do as it pleases with the interests of both aD8 burgs. pHfc- • - n °e they i 
Austria and Hungary, to whom the delegates of 
the Allied powers need pay attention only in so 
far as it suits them to do so. 

dd under 

d "neither' 
' it had a 

Franc 1 iffgle 

Napoleon e Hapsburg 

; e "Napol-ng 


~" falser. The 

it was the , 

:is Joseph h€ Vienna 
blazp they do 

|i as much as the; 

ith their 
pe. The (f a MUteieuropa down 
aim wert lhf , y fear 

Count Karolyi, so far as the cabled summary atlve e x- C ndancy. the 
of his speech shows, made no detailed application lded thefor the time belni , the 
of his argument to special territorial cases, but ;ne y ew ?a j f a customs union 
an instructive instance is afforded by the pre- Q at the fite the Dual Empire 
sent positions, respectively, of Alsace-Lorraine, 
which is German, and Transylvania, which is 

(40 until 

•sarqKA pus s9ii9upa q*oq rn poiej}siiouK c 

snoi^09g j{TTg pun spoor) ssajQ .rao jo diqsj9 
:^q; qjoui 'uos*?9s siqx 'saoijd aosdinig oq; Si 
>sdraig aq| Snieas ^sjit ;not[|rAv ag-B^trBApB jsoq 

ssajp Inq }ouueo A'9q; ^m\\ avoii3[ u9iuoav p9 

nily for- 

paxnssy fyifvnQ uostftutg 

HUM PW '2/GVSSD<fjnsun dUW 1DUT S3njDA ^ eresla '" Pope and the Austi 
11 v 7 ^ l /l \ appeal % to stiffen his deft 

saavHS gnv ssaysm 


d before 
Diet at 
n, after- 
and so 

a vassal state, and 
>w willingly make big 

the Entente 

Hoheneollern. That 
nt from political de- 
Vienna and Budapest, 
nteresting events after 
cur when the Germans 
^ngthen their hold on 
Hies. It is dirhcu 
■or Charles can avert 
jandins:. but he ha- 

which l> hful Prussians, 
y. No 

i of duty 
to the State, and she instructed her daugh- 

FRANCIS JOSEPH- Z £3 t?^ Francis"'^ ^J 

LONELY OLD MANX 6 as **££?%*■ J 5 ■, * ove V : '° 

Bion. mmme age,, ^f Wednesday war whom 

-T- i ' w -T- , ^ ,* Him bp'^r that Francis ea l" upon 

Tragedy After Tragedy, Grief. the boy* ^"^Jf Austria and 

and Gloom, Have Marked • Metternlch I his long, in- gj^: 

His Reign. TZ "™?' f *"»* wh ° jl career - He thertri ^'' 

e hm^" d aJfectionawa y at nine the Prus- 
i abdicated, the i,. f .h • . ,. ? n 

IS NOW 85 YEARS OLD™ *aced Ma^ ev ^ in *f F s **>™. 

y which hisxrs ago he Last week s * lancis 
u d j/L7\/ c r Fe rdinand, by Porfirio Re gency, and ltal y> an(i 

Has Reigned 67 Years— Some )tta whom julletins frim ■ can trace 

of the Great Griefs He art forever sister, has nrenared th* ^ ustna to 

Has Had. . gfc- I > Iai ™ d *» a * — . P sil f ce the ™ 7 sorrows, 
/f/f ' of what his n, brilliant &mC f Ul f ™ of hiS C01i " 
^RANCIS J^eTh" Emperor^ ^^ cbm J^ff has M a ^ and the 

I? Austria, and King of HungH Archduchess umstances,^ the assassma- Archduke 
F was eighty-five vears old V? to *»veber e and de-kh we quoted a *<* P sym- 
Wednesdav, August 18. and htf ^ asa *isure- , well-informed cn > ™ hos e. 

completing the last months of a. / ™ **« e ™ pire > he ^P^Leo Lederer, to f S *? d ° n ' 
of sixty-seven years. Not for /^f"* * Marie 3e of Tus W es cive nartiV* £ bmdmg' 
centuries, since the great RaLs l L zabeth - To * Kin ^ of°g iess ™> f 1 ties (f hls Em . 
reigned in the land of the Pharaohs. ean * to de " se of Bel-Appeal to tile ambitions, 
also for sixty-seven vears, has there' 11 ** d thus ,our *' *> r °- 6 anti-constitu- ago, that 
been a sovereign who has been so ruMnff wasn8 ' arouhdRie Emperor," re in tran- 
long in actual possession of a throne. , mother ' as respondent, " is m 8 behind 

Not in the whole of the history from'® or aBor " ^ an meal." As tlie adent and 

the remotest days can there be found ef holiday i. m ^ , t the dark 

. „ . . . companions , two years lias tt^,, £ 

the record of a sovereign who has ... eph passes J Mouse or 

been longer and more intimately ec- ln view - old man, ieph Was llttle his closing 
quainted with grief. could^lace lonumenta J in the liands of is heir, the 

kOne must not pass judgment upon, path He ly ' ancient>r and' the war and, preci- 
e Francis Joseph of to-day and the weakness Budapest 'Pi r es. He has^t- Aus- 
empire which is the expression of his ie moth er's ante ™oms[ lis ances tor, the lte of Ger " 
own individuality without looking ? his steps jjj , . ire under 

backward to both of them when he rs through '' manhood is 

in 1848, a remote date to the present y *[ " jvas e he ^ and failure was , hej . 
generation, celebrated his eighteenth ed to thos€ itors look- ' nuall y over the ^ / Qr the 
birthday as a careless, light-hearted T* cIaime<i into vastA- E. I. O. V., revo i ut | on 
youth. True, the soldiers of the Rus- da * e ™ ore ere no one ^are orbi uni- )ar ofthe 
sian Czar were then in Hungary, in- f* tart ured rising . at toa's destiny to regtg ^ 
vited there by Francis Joseph's uncle, J 1 ^ empire, filers are_ ")• His youth, ^ n Qi lurc j 1 
the Emperor Ferdimand I., in order to ' ^ewed as ier to g- et [ c k HI., was a broken 

quell the revolution which Kossuth ' co s nacioilSj d witii the ppoint-ment and ^ ^here 
had started in the name of liberty^ . freedom ght have taken a b e th and 

and the brave Hungarians were laV e ac "^ straight »t time bring re- > u 4.1 

., ,. * ame as thei i.^^o^ fc r s brother 

ing down their lives rather than sub- l Juncneon , _ 

mit to Hapsburg tyranny. The dun- whl ^ h hls >ntinues in , nc i s Joseph sue- 3 . T • 

geons of Hungary and Bohemia, of ^* e clearlye the ser- r di na nd as Em- 1 S ^ aulc 2 . n 
pies, Venice, Lombardy, and Tus . ilteousness - ing to his 3nary yea 184 g Jjeat patri- 
cany were full of men whose only '"°ned lg . of the vvith V rance and T€r « M ? ^ 
crime was the determination to break ' ai sap- L of raind) MacrAntfl" , S ° 

the shackles of that same Hapsburg ^^^^ sacrifi ^,pole ^ II] ^ to plaC6S f ° r 
tyranny, -he galiows were busy .^ ^ e ^" no execu- of hig ' le> 
sending thousands more to death. ' ,Ym r o r m of • f 

But Prince Metternich was Prime ^^^ of tte^jJ^ ** 
Minister and the inaster in Vienna, " ty f a P s 'r measure. ^» 

^ t, x x. \i. v. 4. • !,♦ ^-eart and eioomifst ros per Meiimee, 

and Francis Joseph, the boy of eight- bioomiest ^, ii . ^ n ,' 

. . . ' . j ■ . y liberated Qf i mv rP »oiterino, made 

een, had been reared to regard such , IU m y re ._.,•„ , i • 

chastened,, ies of thf> ession upon him 
things as of small consequence. , '™ or tne 1 ,, r ., » 

seek com- nswerable^ on the idea or 

The divine right of kings to send e of M& ^ j^ { > as a spe cies of 

iiberty-loving subjects to the prison. _ ;. ]v ^ p 7eT& tim ^> said 


dui oe- 
id sov- 
is not 
oud of 
e mill- 




er ) re- 
I "Her- 

' The 
ie great 
for the 
ency in 


— ■ feceded. 

in the 
of Ger- 
le "flick 


[ a con- 
the rest 


tliiitj of German People !; 
Became More and More 
Impossible Under Them. 


Conditions Brought About 

by Diplomacy of 


King Wil- 

sight and 


> blow in- 

at crown- 
n-able. Jt 
;sian craft 
st Austria 
" and in 

her pos- 
3seph was 
rv readily 
He be- 
L of re- 
any. But 
ry un his 
still dis- 
the enter- 
make sure 
>yalty, the 
3 compact 
olvlng the 
two states, 
the King- 
d only by 

But Aus- rn 
an obliga 

j\is foe, no i had ■ 
e rights of J Germ: 
It is mo. 1 -' em coi 
. had been bo&y-poluir than 
nto wh: 

with Prus- 
ice of mo- 

3 evolved. 

ars previ- ne tw ° 
e been al- ^ e fact 

rawing the rn l9 „ to th ^ 

cn7n Urn A ^ .-.-. , ^ 




stria ;tle o f Hapsburg 
AU . siria 5Lpsburg princes 
epared:iess ldred N . 

the over- in the 

ce - >f th* 1 s 

to declare T0 Hfl . 

i increasing bru- 


rch had'n th< 

1 l0 be tf a treaty, 
s well as ten y( 
The <-a- -j e p r 


The history of the Hapsburg "Em 
perors, from 1438 to 1806, is a history rhl " very nd v '\\ 
of decline, not only of Imperial power. 
out also of the power of the German 
nation. Jt would hardly be fair, how- 
evcr. to saddle them with the whole 
burden of blame- Disunion w as the 
plague of mediaeval, and. even down iy m _\S, ht Sorth I 
to very recent times, of modern Ger- 
many. The forces and tendencies 
making for disunion existed before 
the Hapsburg dynasty became an Im- 
perial succession, and the Hapsburg 
sovereigns were unable to dominate 
them. To the native Germanic ten- 
dency towards "Particularism" or 
"Individualism" was added, in the six- 
teenth , 'entury, the conflict of reli- 
gions, cL Protestantism against Cat ho- 

d there 
bras able ime 
rusion or 


licisni. The Hapsburgs cannot be 
charged with the production or en- 
couragement of Luther and Zwingli- 
Furthermore, one finds that the enter- 
prise of creating in Germany such 
unity a.s had been created in France 
or England was impossible, unless to 

eign intervention could be fended off, Ljeph fori 181 * -* 
and this condition could never bel n armies ofp'.« , n oe 
satisfactorily met. France, united un-An revolt p 1 ^ [} ' 

der a kingly power which became des, jbsia's help n; 
potic, and formidable on account C t have lost 

erzegovK, :iln cons , 

t-padv a 
n Minister. :he German 
.rtunity of . f the Sover eign 

Keichstadt befel , 




, -Hungarian Am- 
The aj; 
- - n 
eminder to 

e '.. i an ei 

to con- 

apt ai an , the 

in the 

i, Austria; 

ty years 1(1 d i v id-ttei, 
litlon ,° £ half of themn.rck si 
"\riVulii . 

had lancv o 

her design most 

in the de- he German 

d might con- an ally and an 

n Bis ~r^nnv «he^ repaired nendo 
pted by ranny den 


Undis- to secure 
Uce fori'S authori- iUSlro . Hun . ° ( 
to open 

is. But 

ity and' 

ia was. 
Years -nnans 


I rise 

n achieved [ 1hop / 
Russia. In ^aeed 

pre- ' v * 

. VftHh ie fulfilled, mitv Count' of thp R 

fnUnwPd I il infli ' ^ ' 

"." ¥ be aveng-ermany, 

m S-I the com- three year. 'he r 

the base 


°^" b Austr 

)f doub 
the military qualities of the FreiW service, at ope? 

nation, was always ready to take ' fcar (1854- > e .if not V y. 
vantage of German dissension c.J bodies of letted l>> t ,on 

It led 

.. of the 
weakness. After the Thirty Y^tfpresence of wn be ore ten mor 
War the -'capitulations" imposed ^ian troop 
the Emperors by the princes o*S/ e Js hindn 

many reduced their authority fA ? ncn . 

mere shadow of a name. Thy ,' e . ot ;~ 

Empire" became an unstabl/ /* Jution that be- feo 

nch and the 

of dynasts, and the Diet (.or 3/j 
ment), an assembly of diph/lo 

migrnt ot Austria^ oaoo 
vitstory at Sad 

en the Prus- 
verthrown the 
dowa marched 

my could >rman Em-n, : 
urg sove: 
nactivity self, in t 

• the 

entry of >^«™ <*. 
erowning ^ 

owa. Xo djmbt^Bis^o nnndred 



e Francis 

ors, m 

tuTgiB isance 

the , throne 

Reign Has Been Marked by Ufmostj s ^^ SIU d- 

Cruelty — Countess' Curse Has to 

Great Extent Been Fulfilled. ^ 

In one of his historic M id- Lothian it ^ no tor>i- 

orations thirty^sdx years ago, Mr, ]lfe o£ aa 

Gladstone challenged mankind to plac(" 

its finger on any spot in Europe am ir j £ g( j x . 

?ay. "There Austria did good." N< e Drobe ^er 

one accepted, the challenge. k im , g,^ 

The challenge was one of Mr. Glad fu p ranc i g 

stone's splendid indiscretions. He har^^ , to ^^p 

to explain it away; but his indictmen, c ; naS€ ^ a f. 

of Austria was true. n g^ f or 

Francis Joseph has reigned io^, v ^ Then 

sixty-eight years. At the end of his '^ur^ Dut 

reign Austria has reached depths oi^ y lve ^ as 

mfamy whdch even Mr. Gladstone roof j? V 2m- 

never suspected of her. History will fe of ' a nog# 

brand his reign with the foul a G ^ c i a ted ■with 

fearful record of cruelty with wll i cli cm dit He 

fete army treated the girls, the w omen, iiatiori ' with 

hut Katti 

the children, and the unarmed 

of Serbia during the invasion. uncrowned 

That awful outrage of humanity was he held her 
done by high command. It will stamp 
Francis Joseph for ever as one of the „ p 

two most appalling ruffians in modern^- L 

history. >' as&assina- ^ 

Francis Joseph began his reign asl that Fran- J J 
i butcher. The Hungarians revolted Katti, but 
inst Austria. Francis Joseph haduink that at 
them slaughtered. The thing whichd have reg- 
chiefly shocked England then washe liked to 
that women were flogged. How Aus-e. Austria, 
tria has progressed since, under the>si old repro- 
guidance of her royal tutor! en away by 

I BY ROYAL DESIRE. ^ tls ^ m *! 

But Francis Joseph's latest pupils^ Vienna 
ve not stopped at flogging women i^ bac , k to 
they broke their arms and legs, and 
Dtherwise mutilated them. 'They had, ^st" ^ e . 
Francis Joseph's orders to give the few y^^ 
Serbians a lesson. lf t ^ e q Ua li- 

Af ter Francis Joseph had dipped his wr it e r He 
lands in the blood of his Hun@arians, ;oted> sp it e - 
the Countess Karolyi uttered a fam-' e> an 'ything 
dus curse upon him. Her son had a ^ ate f ussy 

Pen one of the victims who werej el% a mar . 
^pressed" to death. of 'humor, 

This was- the curse: "May heaven ^a^ish, a 
and hell hiast his happimess! May sts and in . 
family be exterminated! May he be d ocumen t 
smitten in the persons of those he 
loves! May his life he wrecked, and 
may has children be brought to ruin " 

The countess.' curse has been to 
some ex rent fulfilled. 

His brother, Maximilian, was exe- 
cuted by. the Mexicans. 

His son and heir, the Crown Prince 
Rudolph, committed suicide. 

His wife, the Empress Eldzabeth, 
was assassinated. 

(His «wi, Archduke John, was 
drowned dt sea. 

Two other royal relatives com- 
mitted suicide, one was burned to 
death, and one was killed by. a fall 
from a horse, and another by an acci- 
dent with a gun while hunting. 



H)4torlc Ceremony Will Forbid En- 
trance to Vault Until Confessional 
Admission is Recited. . , 

Canadian Press Despatch. ' ffV 

Vienna, Nov. 27.— The coffin of 
Emperor Francis Joseph has been 
finally closed, but the body will re- 
main lying in state until Thursday, 
the day set for interment. 

At the burial in the crypt of the 
Capuchin a historic ceremony will b e 
carried out, which was anciently de- 
signed to impress the monarch's suc- 
cessor that in spite of all pomp a 
sovereign is merely a mortal. The 
luneral procession will be halted at 
the entrance to the vault bv a chal- 
lenge from within: "Who is there?" 
The reply will be made: "His Most 
Serene Majesty the Emperor Francis 
Joseph." The challenger will then 
teply: "I know him not."' Respond- 
ing to a second challenge the an- 
nouncement will be made: "The Em- 
peror of Austria and Apostolic King 
of Hungary is outside." Again the 
challenger will answer: "I know him 
^nor." When, for the third time, the 
v* voice within asks who demands ad- 
mission the master of ceremonies 
will reply: "A sinful man, our bro- 
ther, Francis Joseph." The portals 
will then open and the procession 

Rome, Nov. 27.— Two strong cur- 
rentsare making themselves felt at 
the Vatican, one urging the necessity 
of having a great service for the re- 
repose of the soul of Francis Joseph, 
who was a staunch Catholic sover- 
eign, and was a loyal upholder of 
the rights of tb e Catholic religion. 
He was a faithful son of the Church, 
as he proved during the last Euchar- 
lstic congress at Vienna, when, de- 
spite a downpour of rain, he follow- 
ed the procession headed by the 

Cardinal T jAff „t A nf the* PnnP Thp 

e ir) }b papisaad sasjuu sbojo pan ' 

•XpUBO pUB SJ3A\OTI '}Uei ^J^S] 

-raisd 'aa.ri osre pue ©iqBi SBraisjiqo 
'sijojmoo ,s.iaipios papupui sjibis et# 
puB jBZBq sir} pauado qaanqo ssixm 

luasaad s'bm oi[M j3ii{3ueppuBj2 
b 'a^aaio - sjia[ Xq pro} sbav Xjo;s s'u 
•paooas vm&i °1 peSuoieq PBq qouiM 
uoods pu-B e-jBTd b pub sauapiojq 
-me uuipui injaapuoM o} sjiuoauos 
jbav s.^pijL joCbi\t jo euros raojj uej 
sSujqi Suiisejarui aqi a.ieqAv uiooj 
ouno aqi ubj sjeu#o nilS '^jesiooo 
auioq aq^ n 3S padiaq puB sd^o jaqo 
pauuop sjaq;o 'puod qs]i -b u-bj sXoq 
uuoj ^saij aqj, SuvAoi isom padiaq 
•dn iujoj j«j[j aq; uiojlj sXoq 
aq^ anq^w -aiun^. o.\i^ 
;noqs ui dn ua^oS sbav jjbjjb 
aioqAi ein uaqAi pe&oddns oq {sa-ui 
sb '^sapjBq .iaq paiijjOM tji5? A'aaA^r 

joint h( 

took r ■ 


.as as yet ^Pt a8 lIte hts. 

.^nake him- at Tiunny- trace^—^. 
ri tragedy at them over,] Anr* ri:v WEST.) 
y of the late tj« Chan - kn oWUiada, 1920. &rJ (J 
- the guest, . - „ 4ill/ 

'-.7 the death of Francis Vh.Ua,> e Ba ^^ 
,ite is the grand-nephew of d m e femed 

Globe * 


/f He is the grana-nepnew o} crowned in p — - 
,.Os' Joseph, and the eldest son of wnere i ** Jr™ 



! mVny n o?asses Away Aft 

ned Hun- 

she wasionged Illness 

in the 

j horsewo- 

. when rid- 

• and l \™ when the 

K aS kkioH he heart* c a n I M R A R 

At prcsem lie » » — ^ -.squabbled; But ^CHUIIVU «n 

mand of the combined German and nineered in ! n Geneva 
lAustro-Hungarian forces "in the Car- ; e me t 
pathians, and along the Transylvan- >n the field 
ian frontier t- but 

rf .,IH jubcjju, c*-..~ -.-- — tire, nncix 

.ne Archduke Otto, younger brother has Ri , . 
Crvii-wuof the murdered Francis Ferdinand. of Wales - F 
hmpei The m0 ther of the new Kaiser, who 

is still living, was the Princess Maria 

Josepha of Saxony. 

Grandncphew Succeeds. 

At present he is nominally in com 

, v „, ,, - - .. much 

ti frontier. . *-. Du , ,''', d brokenew of Monar 

Archduke Charles Francis was borno < the Al!8 _ w 

on August 17, 1887._Hi.s^wi^e^waS ( _t. commit-M ' M 

— Sto 

Princess Zita of the Bourbon house of ivm H • , use n 

Heir Parma. His father was the Archduke j., hay „ 

.Otto, who was the younger brother of 
i Francis Ferdinand. 


ivp noc . „^_ ^ 

more re- and Trgaic Career. 

Of hi*- 
an catspaw !■ ^erdi- 


A Picturesque Figure. 

Francis Joseph was the most pictur- is sixtieth °** th 

e^eXre m'a chequered period of . u " c UVo> 2, -Emperor F 

•.h* history of the most "ramshackle peroi ine 
^^Bmpire.»^o use Lloyd George's corn- 
Joseph 'minatory flash, yet existing in BuropjglP 

SchoenblMore than the German Emperor with hi. »' u under _ 
f h whom she shares the generic name of ; f 

'Kaiser, his biography is the hi&torv f he nQrth 

of his country during his lifetime. He have for . p^^ JoS e P h*s ] 

Jwas strikingly different from the regarded lp sub1ect ,,- 

Lfcatoer in one feature. He most un- ld ... Ye! ie subject 

^ 'questionably was loved by his people; —opheta ed In a despatch 

a&more than he was feared. "Der alte . , ...... _ from a 

. . . <■ .*_. _~* n'l/iiflf in trio ■ « .. .m ■ 

Reuter ( 
of Amst 
The J 
that En; 

ight at 9 o'cl< 


'.na b 

.«. --., •-- ■- • i^i.' ■« .prupneis 

ared. "Der alte portai -. from 

was coi jSrttzi," or still "l^e famUi^.in th| E N 

^ Vemb J^mtTTe SV™ 

news ^§' "ne d to trie self-styled demigod at ^ r^ a Mgbt catarrhal affe 

Empero Votsdam would have been lew " ^ ^ 

^^^^SXS^ti™- ,: „ less 

Subsequ too, ^^J populace than even the QVer , y o , .. tdi 

Russian Hymn does. 

••Gott erhalte Franz der Kaiao 
Unser lieber Kaiser Franz, 

ing rep j 

reach a ^"uently sung in < 

. even to-day. was no tin the ^Dual M, ^ 
archy reserved foi 

orse, but none of th 


and ieir critical state and from \ 

„«♦ tn Ttavdn's swelling music, so fie- im to be nn ftp U r 't he waa 

settoHa>dr Canadian churches on th „ ^ mQ 

on the 
thr peo- 
and tlv 

fi^-' ^..TSSnd.Mc.un.erpaj:. in a » -, ' 
isters daioT babe i of the "ramshackleB. naged 


suspicion t 
graver th; 

dicated ^ 
lacks offlci 

as a Good Hater. 

rriple Al 

Ypt as a young man. as well as m ct whUe 

-iJvVoS age he was a good hater. . „ under 

' e hatld Hungary, he hated the Slav^ ^ n He 

^tnfcroat, and t^e ^ech, ie and 

ihe throne 
lin the ^o-v 
that he w 

of the E 

>arly Ti 
„ality \n 
The i 

lacks otflci IT,,- the Croats, and tne uzecii=.. « « t , .. . <, ^.^. 

been decid" d ^ fgiomerate races who made UP , uroppan he Ar 
.u~ ♦*,.«*,* ie l_,.:- + o «f thP second largest . bn of 

tne> P.iat his condition 

lie offlcuU I 

;iis the 
il confli ' hat I 

in 1 S 





pmpire in Europe^ ^^^^cces- 
b e ^o h^^o^ r the ft ^,yar Com- . ^ \ 

Remise, as his Xn^nsUtuSf from hl ^;- 
delayed Himganan cc n.t the bject of . 

oath was called he carne ^ fle _ ; on< ]Tis 

spirit of the oat h in ^test hed ,_ 

But after thirty odd >eaib °J e utatl0 n bftditions. fy ta kin 
rectness, J^*,?*^^ to urge the Emperor \' a£rai 
wen t to Menna in i»«» a " mrat ion a was so 
recognition of "^ h 'lif^ord, wonder- 
bit further by f enin * ^v in t L lanf the most 
in the Hungarian ai mj J^ ^^^ " 

„ l is ( 



ion t 

hat his 

young pita i t b\; 





d been flfe fortunate 

h&k tb 

I. of Austria-Hungary tr 
years ago, in the sixtieth 

pncts or 
jh in one 
leased to 
in theaeph 
is direct 
ent, and muse of history would . nave 

ready by t his failings, and would have ai 
^Central urin §" niche in the temple of 
is at an inion of the people of the natioi 

Kaiser and Bulgarian King to reality -" tria-Hungary is at war is a 

by Le Matin of Paris in the \ 
s made for his death a setting of 
W double horror." A youth of e?*' 
notwith- tottering Throne in the vei 

s, for he ^^ Pressure" wave that s 
; nour or 

svhich he 1848. As a young autocra, 
a crush- iy f 0r a time to a reactiona S 

Attend Funeral— Allied 
Press Comment 


(Canadian Press Despatch.) 

v London, Nov. 22. — Emperor Fran- .. 

L Joseph on Monday evening for the from thought to repress the democracy « 
first time went to bed earlier than ? lcv ££™ ste f d of making timely conce* 
usual. The first part of the night to tism, his lutionai *y subjects. It is neither x 
1 o'clock passed undisturbed. Then remem-' discreditable that this mistake 
attacks of coughing began. During ^ainhe y° un S ma11 who had been brought 
the daytime yesterday feverish symp- reflecting baleful regime of Prince Metternic 
toms showed a threatening change for all de^at surprising, and it is greatly cre<3 
the worse, and in the afternoon an ? * rmltted .e was able, as his reign progressed, 
jgravation set in which resulted in Llt of this etween himself and his subjects, 

ton 0r «£d tua Hy repellent races, relations tfct 
uo/iisly tolerated if not enthusiasticall, 
From 1866 till the tragedy that pre 
i of Em- 8 war he was at peace with not merel 
chin Mausoleum next week, probably okal An " as and Hungarians, but also with tl 
on Thursday. On Monday the body i ea th will a his Polyglot dominions, who hate 
will be removed from Schoenbrunn ly as it 

Castle to Hofburg Chapel, where it i^^JJ?® Joseph was he^d of the PJo- 
will lie in state on Tuesday and Wed- , that tn e ^ members of which trace \ 
liesday - stria wilP ^hp time of the Merovingian 

The German Emperor and King fc th -^ roffl their family have sprimg 
Ferdinand; of Bulgaria are expected ^ em ' that*" Archdukes of Austria 
to arrive (at the Austrian capital to- Lken one 


Arrangements for the burial of the 
te Emperor have not yet been made, 
says a Vienna despatch to Reuter, but 
the body will be interred in the Capu 

•ow, says a telegram from Vienna i Austro- un S ai T and Bohemia .# 
received- \>y the Exchange Telegraph one of its )f Austria from VjIJLO 

C °i nP ^n/ b t y ^ y ° f G ™ n r^ ♦* "Holy Roman Fab' jo -x 

A despatch from Madrid says the LtL 

Austrian Embassy has announced of- I which latte^O ST spqx 

ficially tbje death of Emperor Francis President^ to an er 

Joseph. \ ring mes- t _.. fi ^'q mUl2lXf\ 

This is\ the first official announce- irl Franz 101 './ rj f ' • ^ 

ment of jthe Emperor's death to be : ccutfUVM 11 IiO I 

received. *< +>><» t™_ _ /** tl* J\ 

Peace Taljk Ignored. 

No stodk is being taken here in the hich you 
fresh outburst of peace talk which is >f your il- 
coming fjrom 1 Vienna and Berlin by entertain 
way of Switzerland, although, it is n and re 
declared, jthe death of Emperor Fran- 
cis Joseph of Austria and the sub- 
stitution of the young heir-apparent ——__«_ 
upon the., throne undoubtedly would 
add to thQ burden of the Central Em- E J[ <LdJ{ AVpiUj 

1 the Im- 
ixjcept the ~ 
ilson and 

n 1. 




ADddQ jjy 

" in 

Dual Monarchy a Fiction. 


The PaM Mall Gazette says: 
"It is i? L ^ -obable that, the . 

f_ it .-'ll make any vital dif- 3 

1 or military, in the r £) 'arrrrrreiT SU uons 
>»«« passed the ^ .il. a. n 

rence^'p/ 1 ^ 

— pis A* 
'oupB'ji paaapiojq 




ia has 


JJiai 2p3 

TSSLAA nVTVf po-r,f{ 

took oTivc- 

- //,> C>/>t/t< >o> ? f/<r /?<-/<, /<\></t/i . 




y wi 


- by Edt 
md and^ 
ued wit 
-ach. ■ 

rf tho S (, 
ie adve 
any an 
3erab] € » 
to teac! 

ty stu." 

nd a 
ts thai 




- <3fhe Flushing heat brought home on 
Monday afternoon Mr. Francis Ihibhle. lha 
author, and hi? vvife, after fifteen months' 
exile. Mr. GribMe. who for a'hot'it eleven 
months hasbeli a prisoner at Kuhleben, 
near Berlin, declared he felt quite fit now, 
having had a little time in Holland to get 
Germany off his mind. 



(Special Cable 
From the Cr 
Copyright. 19 

Munich, t 
Royal famil 
ing the exai 
the Russian 
earning then 
George, grar 
Francis Jose 
orders, and i 
priest has bt 
son, Prince A 

•*ince Gauda* 
— nning. 



bers o LONDON 



she an 
are livi 

of the ( 
great 1 

The e: 
cept siti 
eral A 





The author of "The End of a Olaapter," one of the most readub 
the autobiographical books of the season, Mr. Shane Leslie, is one ol' 
brilliant band of young Irishmen who in recent years have helped to fj 
the literature and mould the political thought of his country. A first r| 
of the Right Hon. Winston Churchill, M.P.. the author of the accompa ' 
poem springs from an old Ulster stock, which has contributed prominen ! 
to the Church, the Army and Parliament. At present Mr. Leslie I 
Editor of "Ireland." 

gAD Emperor, crowned with royal misery, 

Blest wonld he be who cast thep on the stoDes 
From thy twin-eagled, doubly sorrowed thrones ; 
Aye, blest by friend and foe, and most by thee, 
Who art thy kin and kingdom's destiny. 
Long doomed to bring thy Austria her fate, 
Thy love is far more fatal than thy hate. 
Plave not thy well-beloved died for thee ? 
Elisabeth and Maximilian fell, 
Who had but kissed of old the gentle face 
Of thee whose eye casts sorrow every place. 
And now thy hapless legion* feel thy spell. 
Whom, like the slaughtered Archdukes of thy ra--<>, 
Hast thou not loved of old. and loved too wt\] ? 


thine; eonnectea wuu 

Stephen's i 

lining the 


□ •• i 

it w 

jrdin: | 

The . 

:nen ! 

simplicity to the s j 

After the cardin I 

coffin rep I 

by the palibearei j 

Capuchin crypt w 

mourners fol j 
loot to the crypt: ( 
Lee terminate! 

Funeral Ceremony 

Of Late Emperor 


London, Friday, Dec. 
oral procession of the late 
Francis Joseph -£/„?££. *« 
.patch, ™™™IX7Z- afternoon the 
at two o'clock »« sMr "*? h bodv tad 
Hotburs C^,.-*^, 
lain in state since i b a oir - 

versed the streets of ™" C(Utbe . 

cuitous route to St. We pnen 
rtral. Emperor Chanes ^ ted w y 
To the cathedral, where^e^ ^ % „f, 


Empress, the King * ^^V/ 1 


Bavaria, , ^Cndred other mem/« 

and r a TmDerVal family and fa 
of the imperial ^ 


Telegraph ( 

for Industrial Plant, 
to 6.00 p.m., one 
Either experienced 
*«l be satisfactory. & 
«V« dollars to eighty-fj 
month, according to ex| 
dress Box 594, stating 
and experience, care o 

Party leaving fo 
wishes to purcha 
tire contents of 
must be reasona 

rVM.McGJNN . 112 ffo 


We have two o 
choice central 
to rent at 

Apply Business 

Mail and Em 

King Sl Bay St 




TORONTO Ncv g 2 ^Can ^ 

Press) - Ba ^ h n eS k S ne w the gaiety 
Paumgarten, who^ew a days; 
of the Viennese court ^n died 

of Emperor ]£anz J f ghe 
yesterday at the age^ oi the 

spent three years in _ View rf 

Eighteen Eighties While tne 
J Austrian ^f^and to dip- 
accompanied herWWD andW ash- 

lomatic P 0St V n ^nd died in 1929. , 
ing ton. Her husband *ed Mr 

a son; Paul of Milwaukee. 


®he Mail unlit 




For«*;i other c!*3iiflc. t ,' . 
new Chancer Per^JuXSj 
Properties lo Let. Farms 
Resorts, Machinery. KduL 
Carriages. Lo.t or Found 
3* cents a word » 
10 cnt, « word for «a 
When Mall and tcipir. b I 

la addition to prlco of adrir 
10 cents for box and oosta.Z 

mm.,.. , tnrm ^ vSSZS^ 

NO displ*.V lyp© I^^^JT^ 



Only One 



•ma wh; 



There exist plenty of surveys of the modern 
^istory and political conditions of Austria. Mr. 
,500 Ieni 7 Wickham Steed's " The Habsburg Mon- 
cororchy" is the most recent, and probably the best, 
ft h e eM hou ^ h .Mr. R. P. Mahaffy's "Francis Joseph I. : 
cro*iis Life and Times "—a smaller and less pre- 
tentious book— is also very good. One knows 
e equally well where to turn for gossipy com- 
ing a tions— some of them authoritative, and others 
-m,ifaria, void of authority — dealing with the inner life 
bv 'bw the Austrian Court - Sir Horace Rumbold has 
rL k . eated the sub Ject with the dutiful reticence of a 
diplomatist in "The Austrian Court of the Nine- 
teenth Century"; Countess Marie Larisch and 
ice , rincess Louisa of Tuscany, occupying positions 
•>f greater freedom and less responsibility, have 
u My Past" and "My Own Story" lifted 
r*:he veil with indignant gestures, and pointed 
_nngers of scorn at the intimate pictures which they 
othave revealed. M. H. de Weindel, again, has 
rewritten of "Francois-Joseph Intime"; while the 
v enterprise of an American journalist has contributed 
'The Keystone of Empire," "The Martyrdom of 

• sv V 












sms ■v/hich 
hy has to 
dvice prof- 
the cause 
■ Tonjoroff, 
storical do- 
i characters 
:ity of lan- 
ty of races 
»i- eagle of the 
[rests the broad 
Austrian Empire 
mgary in their 
the problem of 
Austrian side — 
is designated m 
German. Serbo- 
and Latin char- 
Slovenian, Rou- 
spresen/ting the 
te boundaries o? 
* side only the 
h — the tongue of 
e Hungary poll- 
ill authorities a.r© 
/a little, less than 
pn of that couii- 
'resented by th» 
Dual Monarchy 
! light upon som» 
the development 


to Austrian 
sie Disap- 
I Valuable 


— The greater 

nperial jewels, 

o the Austrian 

owned by the 

>e been subs+i- 

ones. This was 

>r since hostil- 

overed during 
-own property 
with the pur- 
with which to 
s people, and 

tones includes 

which were 

>f them be- 

dgnia of the 

id historic 

:rowns. The 

d pearls and 

»m 20 to 100 

:e up Yv now in « 
^ vaS °!me of the n 
1-viiig s° rne settled 
country;^ a ^ d m 



a,tes* tie 

ie v^ nlC p , o^ tlaU ' ie ' 

thQ c0 non were 
can cot ^ e 

* resources 

er v,iecl and 

, occupy 


>c ; 

i one« 
ile the 
t there 
to one 
id haa 

wool- r^ded to 

ud til 

1 n 
to tuj 

having en 



of v:v 

Had caueea A 

ace in ^ c tb Af 

irison 01. theT T)< 
1th those ot ft tc 
iow South ^ pr0O n» 

the 06 ' ** 

an Empress," and u The Private Life of Two 
Emperors — William II. of Germany and Francis 
Joseph of Austria." 

This bibliographical list — to which additions 1 
could easily be made — might seem to indicate that^JJ 
the ground has already been well covered; but that> pe i 
is not the case. There exists no life of Francis i 
Joseph, and no History of Austria, in which 
personal and political aspects of the subject arej 
considered in their relation to each other. The? 
assumption of writers who have previously treated ^ 
^'-^^Twf t ^ ie tneme h as Deen ^ at tittle-tattle is tittle-tattle, 
wab^^ Ma n ^ and that history is history, and that the two can never 
meet. The two things, however, are liable to meet 
anywhere ; and in the country and period here under , 
the close oi^th^s i-' rev j ew ^ e y are continually meeting. Austria is not. 
lone of the " inevitable " countries, like England anr* 
bound to have a separate existence unde edy 
ome form of government or other because of theia* 
geographical situation and the national characteris"* 
tics of their inhabitants. There is no Austriai. la * te 
nation: only a medley of races which detest eachl 
other, bound (but by no means welded) together for** 
the supposed convenience of the rest of Europe^^r 
and unified only by the fact that its component part, reme 
all appertain to the dominions of the House o*J 

Habsburg. '. e over- 

It follows that the personality of the Habsburgsw 
matters in a sense in which the personalities oi 
rulers who are mere figure-heads does not matter 
and that personality — the collective personality 
well as the separate personalities of individual J 



had a 
ion to 

o The 

SpeC loro, ° nt 

waS Q a t %Var*worth 

at vi 

Percy A | r satistv 

rectors are n 

4S ate Z $ excess 
any *«S;i«sSii *" 


30 ^ 

„ppain s 

|- tnetits 





[_ members of the House — can only be gauged by 

| those who study their private lives in conjunction 

Last E: with the ^ r P u bHc performances. The history of the 

Irow P ro P ert y (seeing that it comprises peoples as well 

• as lands) includes and implies the history of the 
owners of the property. Our spectacle, in so far 

511 as one can sum it up in a sentence, is that of an 
' Empire continually threatened with dissolution 
Suich under the control of an historic family continually 
I displaying all the symptoms of decadence. The 
political and the personal factors in the problem are 
perpetually interacting; and one of the questions 
which the political prophet has to consider is : Will 
not the decadence of the family hasten the dissolu- 
tion of the Empire? 

Whence it follows, as a secondary sequence, that, 
in the history of modern i\ustria, tittle-tattle matters ; 
for it is only by the careful study of the tittle-tattle 
that we can hope to discover whether the Habsburgs 
of to-day are true or false to the proud and impres- 
sive traditions of their House. In their case, as in 

hat it * 

- that oi any other House, a stray story ot a romantic 

Requt or scandalous character might properly be ignored 

i. as appertaining to the domain of idle gossip; but 

(Special • when stories of that kind meet us at every turn — 

vienm an d meet us with increasing frequency as time 

I proceeds — we are no longer entitled to dismiss 

° them with superior indifference. They are 

rt significant; the key to the situation is to be found 

* in them. Tittle-tattle, in short, when one encoun- 

ters it, not in sample but in bulk, ceases to be tittle- 
lapucjattle, but attains to the dignity of history, and 


and every 
the blood 
there. Pr 
Maria Th 
eign soil— 
The be 
Radical g 
burial of 
turbing i 
likely to 
monial , 

> Utilities Cc 
. Saturday, in 

f- late 1 , %i& 

pec*. This is 
irizzle is com 
v the wind. 3 
side of the tr< 
-> is protected, 
m of ice is 
ard the east, i 

he above pa 
ge that the v 
cjeable at the 
g. But if y< 
irsation that i 
nclude that 
rily spessin 
ites I am a 
if it were i 
that the slee 1 

of Hung 
the r 


that tr 
of bloo 
save CI 
fused tl 

The i 

tfina. in the h 
a in time to 

rl's Deatl 
ver Thrc 

(By jLEOS 

cial Cable, to 1 
York Times, 
lenna, April 
_4)eror Karl 
J^irday evenir 

isi ) 


furnishes the raw material for the generalisations (M 
the political philosopher. 

The annals of the House of Habsburg furnish J 
case in point — the best of all possible cases. TherJJl 
is no House in Europe whose annals are richer ^ 
incident and eccentricity; and the eccentricities* 
whether romantic or scandalous, are such as tc * 
challenge the scientific investigator — whether he beS 

far as Axis , i r . r , . . . 

ton -of the a student of eugenics or of politics — to group them ,f 

in the y reigl and see what inferences he can draw. The present J 

fcrpetSty! 16 writer has decided to take up the challenge; and,; 

; n p • is the situ; in order to take it up, he will be obliged to deaj 

nk , the other r J , . , ? i- • i 

ie i irchy, is cc with a good many matters besides the political ** 
I™ e Political manoeuvres of the Emperor and his Ministers. -« 

y that count 

_ political int/ 
is jig'of thed. 
iito: )ereaved f£j 
* uaJ specially 
^■the ex- Em J 


ldrr ths' time. 

of her s« 

xiied m.ona: John Orth " pelting the Emperor with the insignia 

^ht e wmi'the of the Order of the Golden Fleece ; " Herr Wulflingj 

Europe. th F cracking nuts in a tree with Fraulein Adamovi^ 

? facts, iho" Princess Louisa of Tuscany, first bicycling with t!*J 



B«i _ 

he event. •) dentist in the Dresden Park, and then appealin 

Jucftd shortly bei 


essed the v^her son s tutor to come and 

Id be taken 

•d there. ti\ Switzerland — all these are 

e reigning h suggest reflections quite as far-reaching as anythin 

compromise her ^ 
matters which ma"* 

h • 

his wish ii that we read about Francis Joseph's skill in extricat- 
wn^tVnHungl m £ n ^ s country from embarrassments with rival 
Powers and keeping the peace (in so far as it has 
been kept) between Ruthenians and Galicians. 

It would be presumption, of course, to represent 
this biography as the full and final portrait of 
Francis Joseph as he really is. The complete 
material for such a definite portrait of a sovereign 
is never made available during the sovereign's life- 
time ; and the portraits drawn by people who have 



occupied privileged positions at Court are generally 
the most colourless of all : misleading — and, as a 
rule, designed to mislead — by excess of eulogy. 
Discretion, in such cases, takes the place of criticism ; 
the "selection" is not that of the artist, but of 
the courtier. The illustrious personage thus officially 
or semi-officially portrayed " comes out " not as an 
individual, but as a type : as conventional and as 
unconvincing as the stock " heavy father " or " gen- 
tlemanly villain" of melodrama. Sir Horace Rum- 
bold's polite portrait of Francis Joseph is one of 
many marked by those limitations. The popular 
Austrian portraits are still more distinctly marked 
by them. 

One need not wonder, and one must not complain. 
The path to candour was blocked by the obligations, 
in the one case of hospitality, and, in the other, of 
loyalty ; but there is no reason why the historian who 
is not under such obligations should not criticise 
more freely. His object is neither depreciaton nor 
flattery, but truth — as much of the truth as is attain- 
able at the given moment; and he must therefore 
resist the common tendency of the biographers of 
contemporary rulers to credit their subjects, not only 
with their own particular virtues, but with all other 
people's virtues as well. The only result, in moral 
portraiture, of attributing virtues with too heavy a 
hand is to produce a picture in which the wood 
cannot be seen for the trees. 

That error must be avoided, as much in the 
interest of the subject of the portrait as in that of 
the public to which it is to be submitted. The real 



virtues will be more conspicuous if no imaginary 
virtues are allowed to block our view of them, and 
if other miscellaneous qualities which contrast with 
them are given their due tribute of attention. 
Cromwell, it will be remembered, insisted that the 
artist should paint him "warts and all,"; and if the 
Life of an Emperor is not to be written in that spirit, 
one might just as well refrain from writing it, for 
there would be nothing to be learnt from it when 
it was written. 

Francis Gribble. 

r£*'o*'„ U U ' as the 
tfc % * ,: ld aJJ through 
%< y^amonial dipjn 

VsLT e a ~ 

Khl s com ™iy 

* Reamed by mar : 
W nine children 







1 The collapse of the Holy Roman Empire — The impossibility 
of reviving it — The German Federation — The Holy 
Alliance — The policy of sitting on the safety valve — The 
consequent explosions — The problems consequently pre- 
pared for Francis Joseph — The Head of the House of 
Habsburg — Inseparable connection between the events 
of his public and private life 





1 The House of Habsburg from the standpoint of Eugenics — 
c The " Habsburg jaw " — Degeneracy the consequence of 

i consanguineous marriages — Sound physiological instinct 

ic of King Cophetua — And of those Habsburgs who have 

g followed his example — Morganatic marriages — The 

r( family organism fighting for its life — Has Francis Joseph 

fj understood? — Indications that he has understood in part 10 


Francis Joseph's ancestors — Francis, Duke of Lorraine — 
Francis II. — Leopold II. — Collaterals — The Spanish 
marriages of the Habsburgs — Their alliances with Por- 
tugal, the various Bourbons, and the Wittelsbachs of 

If Bavaria — Moral and mental defects thus perpetuated 

and emphasised — Francis Joseph as the sane champion 

i of a mad family 20 









Francis Joseph's childhood — The severe education which 
prepared him for his role— Difficulties of that rdle— The 
Liberal revolt against the Metternich system— The idea 
of nationality — Hiibner's surprise that anyone should 
object to Austrian rule — Every Austrian a policeman 
at heart— The Italian rising of 1848— Francis Joseph in 
action— Radetzky's remonstrances— Francis Joseph's 
return to his studies 



The risings of 1848— Princess Melanie Metternich 's excited 
account of it— Disorderly flight of Metternich from 
Vienna— The House of Habsburg saved by "three 
mutinous soldiers " — Abdication of the Emperor Fer- 
dinand in favour of his nephew, Francis Joseph— 
Hiibner's description of the ceremony 



Attitude of the Hungarians towards Francis Joseph— They 
denounce him as a traitor, and banish him from 
Hungary — Contempt of Austrians for Hungarians — The 
conquest of Hungary with Russian help— Repression and 
atrocities— Women flogged by order of Marshal Haynau 
—Marshal Haynau himself flogged by Barclay and 
Perkins' draymen in London, and spat upon by women 
in Brussels — Popular song written on that occasion ... 



Why Francis Joseph was called "The child of the gallows" 
—His affront to Napoleon III., and its consequences— 
The Bach system and the objections to it— Francis 
Joseph's bonhomie— The attempt on his life— Impressions 
formed of him by the King of the Belgians, and Lady 
Westmorland— The story of his romantic marriage 



The failure of the marriage— Difficulty of explaining it— 
The two conflicting personalities— Francis Joseph's 
personality obvious— The Empress Elizabeth's person- 
ality mysterious — Her sympathy with the Hungarians, 
and its political importance — Her confession of melan- 
J|^ choly 





Francis Joseph's Egeria— Elizabeth's mother-in-law— Eliza- 
beth's quarrels with etiquette — The beginnings of 
estrangement — The functions of Countess Marie Larisch 
in the imperial household— Captain "Bay" Middleton— 
Nicholas Esterhazy— Elizabeth's fairy story— Her cynical 
attitude towards life 86 


"The Martyrdom of an Empress " — Correction of inaccuracies 
contained in that popular work — Francis Joseph's friends 
— "A Polish Countess" — Frau Katti Schratt — Enduring 
attachment — Rumour of morganatic marriage — Interview 
with Frau Schratt on that subject— " Darby and Joan" 99 


Francis Joseph's passion for field sports — Enthusiasm of a 
nation of sportsmen for a sportsman Emperor — Anec- 
dotes of sport — Estrangement of the Emperor and the 
Empress — The Empress's departure for Madeira — Her 
wanderjahre — Her attitude towards life — The keeping 
up of appearances ir 


Francis Joseph's snub to Napoleon III. — Proposal to address 
him as "Sir" instead of "Brother" — The consequences 
— Napoleon asks: "What can one do for Italy?" — 
Austria at war with France and Italy — The crimes com : 
mitted by Austria in Italy — Battles of Magenta and 
Solferino — Francis Joseph compelled to surrender Lom- 
bardy, but allowed to retain Venetia 122 


An interval of peace — Beginnings of trouble with Prussia — 
Habsburg pride precedes a Habsburg fall— Refusal to 
sell Venetia to Italy — Italy joins Prussia — The war of 
1866 — The disaster of Sadowa — Benedek's failure — 
Shameful treatment of Benedek by the Empire — Vain 
attempts to conciliate him — His widow's comments 132 





Francis Joseph comes to terms with Hungary — His famous 
interview with Francis Deak — "Well, Deak, what does 
Hungary demand?" — Dualism — The objection of the 
Slavs to Dualism — Coronation at Buda — Andrassy, 
whom he had hanged in effigy, becomes his Prime 
Minister 143 


Attitude of Austria in the Franco-German War — Proposed 
alliance of France, Italy, and Austria against Prussia — 
General Tiirr's interview with Francis Joseph — Victor 
Emmanuel's conditions — The bargain concluded — The 
French plan of campaign drafted by the Archduke 
Albert — Beust's letter to Richard Metternich — Reasons 
why the Austrian promises were not fulfilled 148 


Austrian expansion in the Balkans — Occupation of Bosnia — 
Problem of Servia Irredenta — Postponement of the day 
of reckoning — Luck of the Habsburgs in public life — 
Calamities dog them in private life — List of Habsburg 
fatalities during Francis Joseph's reign 158 


Francis Joseph's brother Maximilian — Invited to be Emperor 
of Mexico — Hesitates, but consents to please his wife — 
Resignation of his rights as a Habsburg — The Pactc dc 
Famille and the quarrel about it — The compromise — The 
last meeting of the brothers — Maximilian's melancholy — 
He composes poetry — He receives the benediction of 
the Pope and departs for his Empire 164 


Vanity and nervousness of the Empress Charlotte — Evil 
omens which frightened — Her journey to Europe to seek 
help for Maximilian — Her cold reception by Napoleon 
III. — Symptoms of approaching insanity — Her madness 
— Maximilian abandoned by the French — Attacked by 
the Republicans — Captured at Queretaro — Francis 
Joseph's vain attempt to save him — His trial and execu- 
tion 176 





Habsburgs and Wittelsbachs — Which is the madder House? 
— Insanity of the Empress Elizabeth's cousin, Ludwig 
II. of Bavaria — His eccentricities — His tragic death — 
— Grief of the Empress — Suicide of Elizabeth's brother- 
in-law, the Comte de Trani — Tragic death of the Arch- 
duchess Elizabeth 187 


The Crown Prince Rudolph — His quarrel with the German 
Emperor — His affability and his hauteur — A spoiled 
child — His search for a wife— Marriage to Princess 
Stephanie — Disappointment and disillusion — Stephanie's 
book — "A long, long, terrible night has gone by for me" 
— Mary Vetsera and her family — How Mary Vetsera 
was taken first to the Hofburg and thence to Meyer- 
ling 193 


What the Archduchess Stephanie knew — What Rudolph 
knew that she knew — The search for Mary Vetsera by 
her relatives — The news of the Meyerling tragedy — The 
two official versions — The many unofficial versions — The 
attempt to hush the matter up — Mary Vetsera 's letter 
to Countess Marie Larisch 208 


Fantastic legends of the Meyerling tragedy — Talks with the 
Crown Prince's valet — Foolish story given by Berliner 
Lokal Anzeiger — What the Grand Duke of Tuscany 
knew — What Count Nigra knew — What Countess Marie 
Larisch tells — Her story confirmed from a contemporary 
source — Doubts which remain in spite of it — Was it 
suicide or murder? ... 218 


The Archduke John Salvator — His many accomplishments — 
His criticisms of his superiors — His disgrace at Court — 
His love affair with an English lady — "Your darling 
Archduckling " — His proposal to abandon his rank and 
earn his living as a teacher of languages — His love 
affair with Milly Stiibel — He quarrels with Francis 
Joseph, takes the name of John Orth, and leaves 
Austria 232 





John Orth — Had he been plotting with Rudolph? — Indirect 
confirmation of story told by Countess Marie Larisch — 
Did John Orth really marry Milly Stubel? — Failure to 
find the proofs of the marriage — John Orth's letters 
written on the eve of his departure for America — Dis- 
appearance of his ship off Cape Horn — Is JoTin Orth 
really dead ? — Examination of the reasons for believing 
that he is still alive 244 


The revolt of the Archdukes — Instructive analogies — Later 
years of the Empress Elizabeth — Her manner of life 
described by M. Paoli, the Corsican detective — Her fear- 
lessness — Her superstitions — Various evil omens — The 
last excursion — Assassination of the Empress at Gent 
— How Francis Joseph received the news 259 


Austria's idiot Archdukes" — A catalogue raisonni — The 
Emperor's brothers — The Archduke Rainer — The Arch- 
duke Henry and the actress— The Archduke Louis Sal- 
vator, the Hermit of the Balearic Islands — The Archduke 
Charles Salvator — The Archduke Joseph — The Archduke 
Eugene and his vow to be "as chaste as possible" — The 
Archduke William and his courtship in the cafe — The 
Archduke Leopold — The awful Archduke Otto and his 
manifold vagaries 272 


The centrifugal marriages of the Habsburgs — Francis 
Joseph's attitude towards them — His attitude towards 
Baron Walburg, the Habsburg who had come down in 
the world — Where he draws the line — His refusal to 
sanction the marriage of the Archduke Ferdinand 
Charles to the daughter of a high-school teacher — The 
Archduke resigns his rank and becomes Charles Burg — 
Marriage of the daughter of Archduchess Gisela to 
Baron Otto von Seefried zu Buttenheim 284 





The marriage of Archduchess Stephanie to Count Lonyay — 
Attitude of the King of the Belgians towards that mar- 
riage — Attitude of Francis Joseph — He sanctions the 
union, but snubs the bridegroom — Marriage of the 
Archduchess Elizabeth to Otto von Windischgraetz — 
Francis Joseph's approval — The Windischgraetzes 
raised to the rank of Serene Highnesses 294 


The Archduke Francis Ferdinand — An invalid who delayed 
to marry — Report of his betrothal to the Archduchess 
Gabrielle — Announcement of his betrothal to Countess 
Sophie Chotek — Anecdotes of the courtship — Indigna- 
tion of the Archduchess Gabrielle 's mother — Attitude of 
Francis Joseph — He permits the marriage on condition 
that it shall be morganatic — Francis Ferdinand com- 
pelled to swear a solemn oath that he is marrying 
beneath him, and that his children will be unworthy to 
succeed him — Reason for doubting whether he will 
eventually be bound by his oath 301 


The " terrible year " of the Habsburg annals — Proceedings of 
Princess Louisa of Tuscany — The taint inherited from 
the Bourbons of Parma — Princess Louisa's suitors — Her 
marriage to Prince Frederick August of Saxony — She 
bicycles with the dentist — She runs away to Switzerland 
with her brother, the Archduke Leopold, and her 
children's tutor — Attitude of the Courts towards her 
escapade — Official notice on the subject in the Wiener 
Zeitung 315 


The romantic Quadruple Alliance — The jarring notes — Prin- 
cess Louisa's objections to her brother's companion 
Fraulein Adamovics — The sentimental life of the Arch- 
duke Leopold — He becomes " Herr Wulfling," and 
marries Fraulein Adamovics — Herr and Frau Wulfling 
run wild in woods — Herr Wulfling divorces his wife and 
marries again — His confidences to Signor Toselli — Prin- 
cess Louisa's conception of the Simple Life — Her 
manners shock the Swiss — She dismisses M. Giron — Her 
marriage to Signor Toselli 326 





The summing up — The probable future of Austria — The prob- 
able future of the House of Habsburg — Questions both 
personal and political which will be raised when Francis 
Joseph dies — The extent to which he has been "in the 
movement" — The faithful companion of his old age ... 341 

Index 353 






• tl 






I 1 



s "o 





9 t 

# 1 The Emperor Francis Joseph (From a recent 


portrait by Bieber) Frontisp 


f The Emperor Francis Joseph at the time 
of his Accession in 1848 ... 

'-•'The Empress Elizabeth of Austria . 

^The Countess Marie Larisch at the ttme 

of her marriage .... 

I 1 

BThe Emperor Francis Joseph in 1866 


ge, Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico 

^'Charlotte, Wife of Maximilian, Emperor 

of Mexico 


is King Ludwig II. of Bavaria .... 


i? The Crown Prince Rudolph 

CO 1 

-'3 The Ho f burg, Vienna 


■The Crown Princess Stephanie 

■The Baroness Mary Vetsera 

[ The Archduke John of Tuscany (John 
I 3 Orth) 

, bl3 THE Archduke Francis Ferdinand 


To face page 52 

























o . 


The Duchess of Hohenberg (wife of the Arch- 
duke Francis Ferdinand) To r ace page 312 

Princess Louisa of Tuscany (Ex-Crown Princess 

of Saxony) „ 338 

Frau Schratt „ 350 




l w. 
or . 










s trie collapse of the Holy Roman Empire — The impossibility 
j ti of reviving it — The German Federation — The Holy 
arl( Alliance — The policy of sitting on the safety valve — The 
losi consequent explosions — The problems consequently pre- 
pared for Francis Joseph — The Head of the House of 
Habsburg — Inseparable connection between the events 
of his public and private life. 

ic ii 

at In order to clear the way, and set the stage for 
to ste drama of the Emperor Francis Joseph's life, 

U ;'e must go back to the dissolution of that Holy 

jjj.oman Empire of which the Emperor of Austria 

*^as, at the end, the titular head. Happily, we have 

^ f' t very far to go. 

iei.The Holy Roman Empire — in fact, as a cynic has 

3 iro d, neither Holy nor Roman, and scarcely worthy 
I cf™ be called an Empire — collapsed in the Napo- 
iv nic wars. The Battle of the Nations at Leipzig, 
1****;- "world's earthquake" at Waterloo, the Con- 


wa)ss of Vienna : none of these things availed to 
fc the Holy Roman Empire on its feet again, 
perhaps a really great man might even then have 

3 A 

t feign 
tn: luk < 

js : 

nna e 
tte. ] 
pe*-o - 


been able to restore it and make something of it, 
using it as a decorative setting for glorious achieve- 
ments; perhaps not. The experiment was not tried, 
because there was no great man available to try it. 
The sovereigns of those days, with the sole excep- 
tion of Alexander of Russia, were pitifully lacking 
in personal prestige. Whatever Napoleon had failed 
to do, he had at least succeeded in destroying the 
prestige of the hereditary representatives of ancient 
dynasties. The House of Habsburg, in spite of 
Napoleon's marriage to a daughter of the House, 
had suffered as much indignity as any other royal 
family, and more than most. That marriage, indeed, 
was itself esteemed an indignity; even the old 
friends of the House were doubtful whether it still 
deserved respect. 

Moreover, while Austria was rather weak, Prussia 
was very jealous — not altogether without reason. In 
the earlier stages of the final combination against 
Napoleon, Prussia had borne the burden and heat of 
the day, while Austria sat, with a double face, shilly- 
shallying on the fence. Now, it might be said, Austria 
represented the Past and Prussia the Future of 
the German world; and the Future was in no mood 
to tolerate proud airs or lofty pretensions from 
the Past. In the absence, therefore, of a command- 
ing personality among the sovereigns, the revival of 
the Holy Roman Empire was impossible; and the 
centre of gravity of the German world was shifting. 

Still, something had to be done; some organisa- 
tion had to be contrived to give cohesion to the 
medley and provide the Continental Concert with 


a reasonable prospect of a quiet life. So there 
sprang into being two organisations which concern 
us : — 

i. The German Federation. 
2. The Holy Alliance. 

Their detailed history need not delay us; but we 
must pause to see how they created the difficulties 
with which Francis Joseph, coming to throne as a 
boy of eighteen, had to cope, and posed the 
problems which he would have either to solve for 
himself or to see roughly, and even violently, solved 
for him by others. 

Just as the Holy Roman Empire was scarcely 
worthy to be called an Empire, so the German 
Federation was scarcely worthy to be called a 
Federation. It was loose and cumbrous, inefficient 
and inert. There was no Federal Tribunal, no 
Federal army, no Federal diplomatic machinery; in 
all these matters the component States — ruled by 
thirty-eight separate sovereigns — retained their in- 
dependence. The Federal Assembly, which met at 
Frankfurt, was, in effect, only a Congress of the 
Ambassadors of those States, with the Austrian 
Ambassador in the chair. No important step could 
be taken without the unanimous consent of the Am- 
bassadors ; and there was no important piece of busi- 
ness on which they were all of one mind. The 
position of Austria at the head of the Assembly was 
one of dignity without authority, conferring little 
more actual power than falls to the president of a 
debating society. 

3 B 2 


So loose an arrangement obviously could not 
endure. One of two things was bound to happen; 
the bonds of union must, in the course of time, 
either be tightened or be broken. The seeds 
of destruction were present in the organisation from 
the first in the shape of Austro-Prussian jealousy : 
that jealousy between the Past and the Future to 
which we have referred. The interests and aspirations 
of these two dominant States conflicted. Neither of 
them was strong enough to bring the other to heel ; 
neither of them was weak enough, or humble enough, 
to acquiesce in the other's hegemony. It remained 
only for one of them to turn the other out of the 
Federation, and fashion a real Federation — a real 
Empire, perhaps — out of the remaining constituents. 
That inevitable process — delayed for more than 
fifty years, but eventually altering the whole outlook 
of Austrian policy — was to provide the central 
problem of Francis Joseph's reign; but many other 
problems, hardly of less significance, were first to 
arise out of the programme of the Holy Alliance. 

The Holy Alliance, of course, was, in fact, no 
more Holy than the Holy Roman Empire, and was, 
perhaps, hardly worthy to be called an Alliance. It 
was an agreement, or mutual understanding, rather 
than an Alliance, inspired by hatred and terror of 
the new ideas disseminated by the French Revolu- 
tion; and those are hardly unjust who describe it 
as a conspiracy, suggested by Metternich, and 
acquiesced in by the principal Continental sove- 
reigns, for keeping all subject peoples in the places 
which the Congress of Vienna had assigned to them. 



And that in a double sense. In the first place, auto- 
cratic forms of government were to be maintained 
in all countries which the Holy Three regarded as 
within their sphere of influence. In the second place, 
subject nationalities were to be kept in subjection to 
the Powers which the Settlement of 1815 had placed 
in authority over them. 

It follows that the policy of the Holy Alliance 
was a policy of sitting on safety valves; and its 
history is the history of a series of Conferences and 
Congresses held to decide who should sit on which 
safety valve in the name of all. It was agreed, for 
instance, that Austria should sit on the safety valve 
in Naples, and that France should sit on it in 
Spain; and there was much talk — though also 
much difference of opinion — about sitting on the 
safety valves in Portugal and Greece. The Holy 
Alliance fell to pieces, after a much shorter life 
than that of the Holy Roman Empire, because 
Russia maintained against Austria, and England 
maintained against France, that certain safety 
valves should not be sat upon. 

Moreover, safety valves were many, and the 
upward pressure was of a continually increasing 
force. If Metternich and Castlereagh, and 
the Emperors of Austria and Russia, and the 
King of Prussia, had, like the Bourbons, "learnt 
nothing" from the French Revolution and its 
sequel, the common people, from university pro- 
fessors to artisans, had learnt much. They might 
desire a breathing-time before committing them- 
selves to desperate courses. The breathing-time 



might be protracted because the despotisms were 
reasonably benevolent towards people who did not 
meddle with politics; because the administration was 
honest, and the taxes were not oppressive. Still, 
sooner or later intelligent men were bound to tire 
of submission, and clamour for Parliaments and 
the recognition of " nationalities." Byron — the 
friend of the Carbonari before he was the friend 
of Greece — was hounding them on to do so. 

In England Byron was notorious for his inde- 
corum; but, on the Continent, he was famous for 
his audacity. The improprieties of " Don Juan " 
did not shock Continental Liberals; but its cour- 
ageous political criticisms stirred them. The lines 
over which they gloated — though they must have 
had a difficulty in translating them — were such lines 
as these : — 

Lock up the billy bald-coot, Alexander ! 

Ship off the Holy Three to Senegal ! 
Teach them that sauce for goose is sauce for gander, 

And ask them how they like to be in thrall ! 

Such passages — and there are plenty of them — 
express the temper to which the Continental Liberals 
were gradually coming. When they came to it, and 
found such men as Metternich, and Bomba of 
Naples, and Charles X. of France, sitting on the 
safety valves, explosions could by no means be pre- 
vented. The political history of the period is the 
history of those explosions and their consequences ; 
and we all know that there were two principal series 
of such explosions — the explosions of 1830, and the 
explosions of 1848. The noise of the first detona- 



tions was, as it were, a salute fired in the year of 
Francis Joseph's birth ; the louder roar of the second 
greeted his accession. 

First Italy and then Hungary exploded; and 
Francis Joseph, as a boy of eighteen, had to face the 
confusion and try to calm it. The story of his bear- 
ing in the presence of the turmoil must not be 
anticipated; but we may look sufficiently ahead to 
note that a new Austria, differently constituted, and 
looking out of a new window in a new direction, had 
gradually to be re-created out of what might very 
well have been a wreck. The old Austria over which 
Francis Joseph began to reign in 1848 was a 
Teuton Power holding the most prosperous provinces 
of Italy in its iron grip. That grip has been re- 
luctantly relaxed until only the pressure of one little 
finger remains; and the new Austria over which 
Francis Joseph rules to-day has only a small Teuton 
nucleus, associated with a Magyar nucleus nearly 
as large, trying in conjunction with it to assert pre- 
dominant partnership in a large and increasing 
community of Slavs, and casting envious, but not 
very hopeful, glances across the Danube towards the 
Balkan States and the ^Egean harbours. 

So great has been the evolution accomplished 
within the reign of a single ruler : a ruler who, at 
the beginning of his reign, did not dare to set his foot 
in his own capital, and, long before the end of it, 
had come to be regarded as the one indispensable 
man in the Empire — the one man whose life must 
be preserved and prolonged at all hazards, for fear 
lest his death should entail the collapse of the edifice 



which he had reared — the one man who sometimes 
appeared to command the affection of all his sub- 
jects. It would be a striking story, even if one 
related the Emperor's political achievements without 
reference to his personal life; but the two things, 
though commonly separated by political historians, 
are not really separable. 

Certainly they are not so separated by his own 
subjects. They not only admire the statesman who 
has acquired a prestige to which he was not born, 
and has used it to recover by diplomacy what he has 
lost in war; they also cherish an affectionate sym- 
pathy for the man at whom calamity has dealt blow 
after blow, whom no blow, however cruel, has 
struck down, and who, in spite of innumerable 
sorrows, has continued to confront the world 
with a dignified, if melancholy, composure. He 
has had, they perceive, no less trouble with 
his family than with his Empire ; and they have 
sometimes thought of him — or at least been tempted 
to think of him — as the one splendidly sane member 
of an eccentric and decadent House. 

It follows that one must write of Francis Joseph, 
not only as an Emperor, but also as a Habsburg — 
the head of the most interesting of all the royal 
houses : a House whose members, unpredictable in 
their insurgent extravagances, have, again and again, 
moved the Courts and Chancelleries of Europe 
to consternation. Our picture must be, not only of 
a great and successful ruler, but also of a brave old 
man, tried in the fire but not consumed by it, bowed 
down by sorrows but not broken by them, maintain- 



ing the mediaeval majesty of royal caste in the 
presence of his peers, at a time when other Habs- 
burgs — one Habsburg after another — were flinging 
the prejudices of royal caste to the winds and making, 
as it must have seemed to him, sad messes of their 
lives, after the manner of those reprobate relatives 
who, even in middle-class families, are spoken of, if 
at all, with bated breath. 

That being our theme — or a portion of it — we 
may next speak of the Habsburgs collectively; and 
we will begin by considering what the eugenists 
have to sav about them. 


The House of Habsburg from the standpoint of Eugenics — 
The " Habsburg jaw " — Degeneracy the consequence of 
consanguineous marriages — Sound physiological instinct 
of King Cophetua — And of those Habsburgs who have 
followed his example — Morganatic marriages — The 
family organism fighting for its life — Has Francis Joseph 
understood? — Indications that he has understood in part. 

The House of Habsburg furnishes the "horrible 
examples " in two recent works on the new science 
of Eugenics : Uheredite des Stigmates de De- 
generescence, by Dr. Galippe, and UOrigine dn 
Type familial de la Maison de Habsburg, by Dr. 
Oswald Rubbrecht. The arguments in both cases 
are based, not only on a study of history, but also 
on a collation of portraits; and though the writers 
differ on some points of detail, their general con- 
clusions are identical. For both of them the 
Habsburgs are "degenerates"; both of them 
attribute the degeneracy to the same cause. It is, 
they agree, the cumulative effect of what is techni- 
cally called "in-breeding" — of a long succession of 
inter-marriages among comparatively near relatives. 

One hears of the physiological law thus violated, 
whenever the question of a marriage between cousins 



is mooted. The tendency of such a marriage, 
we are always told, is to perpetuate and accentuate 
typical characteristics and weaknesses, both physical 
and moral. A single marriage between cousins 
may produce no perceptible evil result; and one 
can cite cases in which it appears to have produced 
remarkably brilliant results. 1 But a series of such 
marriages, continued through generation after 
generation, invariably and inevitably tells. The 
family, or the community, in which such unions are 
the rule, loses vigour and develops peculiarities — a 
special, readily recognisable, physiognomy, and an 
unstable mental equilibrium. The transmitted 
eccentricities — more particularly the mental eccen- 
tricities — may skip a generation or leave an indi- 
vidual exempt; but they are always lurking in the 
background — always to be expected to reappear. 

It has been so, and is so, according to Drs. 
Rubbrecht and Galippe, with the Habsburgs. We 
have all heard of the " Habsburg jaw"; and Dr. 
Rubbrecht traces it to its mediaeval source, and, 
standing before a long row of family portraits, 
carefully and scientifically depicts the Habsburg 
face : — 

" In addition to the underhung lower jaw and the 
I large lower lip, the Habsburg physiognomy pre- 
sents the following characteristic features : excessive 
length, and, sometimes, excessive size of the nose; 
' exorbitism/ more or less pronounced, with a fore- 
head often of considerable height. One would say 

1 Darwin married his first cousin, and all his sons were 
men of remarkable ability. 



that the head, squeezed in by lateral pressure, had 
undergone a concomitant vertical allongation, and 
had been stretched, and pulled up and down at the 
same time. According to Dr. Galippe, the lateral 
flattening of the skull is the fundamental charac- 
teristic, and all the other abnormalities follow 
from it." 

That is what Dr. Rubbrecht makes of the por- 
traits. He generalises only as a student of physiog- 
nomy, and does not discuss mental and moral issues, 
or presume to predict the future. Dr. Galippe is 
more outspoken : — 

"The Habsburgs" (he writes), "having, by their 
intermarriages, developed a degenerate taint, and 
having transmitted it, either separately or in con- 
junction with other taints, both physical and 
psychical, to the families matrimonially allied with 
them, have brought into existence a specific type 
of human animal, by the same means which the 
breeders of dogs and horses employ for the creation 
of a new sub-species." 

As for the general consequences of such in- 
breeding, he continues : — 

" Even those aristocratic families which present 
no original mark of degeneracy disappear quickly. 
It follows, a fortiori, that those families which, 
possessing such characteristics, perpetuate them by 
contracting marriages within the degrees of con- 
sanguinity, are doomed to a still more speedy 

As for the case of the Habsburgs in particular, 
he concludes : — 



1 The Habsburgs of Spain have long since been 
swept off the stage of history, disappearing in 
sterility or insanity. The Habsburgs of Austria, 
numerous though the representatives of the House 
are at the present time, will end by disappearing in 
their turn as an historic family, if they persist in 
their errors, — that is to say, in their marriages with 
blood relations." 

It is a new way of looking at an old problem, — a 
new thought suggested by the latest of the sciences ; 
and it opens the door to reflections of great and 
urgent moment to many other royal houses besides 
that of Habsburg. In a general way, it has long 
been held to be almost as improper for Kings and 
Queens to marry their subjects as for angels to marry 
the daughters of men. A purer and bluer blood 
ran in their veins than in the veins of their subjects; 
and to adulterate that blue blood with red blood 
was to degrade it. They must, therefore, seek their 
brides and bridegrooms within the magic circle. 
Kings must marry Queens, and Princes must marry 
Princesses; and the distinctive exclusiveness of 
reigning houses must be maintained by a succession 
of unions between cousins. 

That view of the matter has continued to prevail 
in royal circles — and also in high political and 
diplomatic circles — long after the students of 
heredity have established conclusions unfavour- 
able to such courses. The arguments can hardly 
have failed to reach the ears of those whom 
they concerned; and the feeling — tacit, if not 
avowed — has presumably been that Kings, and 



Queens, and Princes and Princesses are so great 
and good and glorious that the laws of Nature do 
not apply to them. But that is not the case. Science 
shows that Kings cannot override the laws of Nature 
even in the countries in which they are permitted 
to override the laws of the land ; that the price which 
Nature exacts for exclusiveness is degeneracy ; that 
hardly any royal family anywhere has failed to pay 
that price; that the percentage of insanity has, 
through the ages, been higher among hereditary 
rulers whose blue blood has thus been protected 
from admixture than in any other class of the com- 
munity; and that the sound physiological instinct is 
that on which King Cophetua acted in the legend, 
when the bare-footed beggar-maid appeared before 
him : — 

As shines the moon in clouded skies, 

She in her poor attire was seen ; 
One praised her ankles, one her eyes, 

One her dark hair and lovesome mien. 
So sweet a face, such angel grace, 

In all that land had never been : 
Cophetua swore a royal oath : 

"This beggar maid shall be my queen." 

It is this example of King Cophetua — and the 
moral which the eugenists read into it — that we shall 
need to bear in mind when we endeavour to appre- 
ciate those incidents in the latter-day history of the 
House of Habsburg which are commonly supposed, 
whether rightly or wrongly, to have been most dis- 
tressing to the head of the family. That history 
has largely, and indeed mainly, if not quite entirely, 
been a history of revolt on the part of the sons — 



and even the daughters — of the House against the 
splendid restrictions and inherited obligations which 
hedged them about as members of an uniquely illus- 
trious race. 

The revolt has expressed itself in many ways : 
some of them, in the world's view, creditable and 
even honourable ; others in a greater or less degree 
scandalous. We have seen — and we shall see yet 
again in these pages — one Habsburg throwing off the 
panoply of state, to live his own mysterious life 
in the remote Balearic Isles, and another Habsburg 
disappearing for ever — unless those are right who 
assure us that he bides his time, in hiding, for some 
dark political reason, and will "come again" — as 
the navigating officer of a merchant vessel. There 
have also been intrigues which have ended in 
tragedy, and morganatic marriages with actresses 
and other persons deemed " impossible " in imperial 
circles; and there has been at least one elopement 
of a Habsburg Princess, who, having failed to live 
harmoniously with a Crown Prince, found that even 
a professional pianist could not permanently satisfy 
her craving for romance. 

One knows the ordinary comment on these pro- 
ceedings : " All the Habsburgs are mad, — all of 
them except Francis Joseph; and here is another 
Habsburg proving himself (or herself) as mad as 
the others, if not madder." The remark is not 
profound; but it is often, in a rough way, true. 
John Orth, " Herr Wulfling," Princess Louisa of 
Tuscany : — all these (and not these only) have done 
strange things, — things which one would hesitate to 



put forward as the sole and unsupported proofs of 
the possession of well-balanced minds. This is 
not the page for the detailed account of such pro- 
ceedings; but it is pertinent and proper, even here, 
to remark the startling frequency of their occur- 
rence. It is not a case of the discovery of a single 
skeleton in a single cupboard — a phenomenon which 
any research into any family history is apt to bring 
to light. The impression, when one reviews the 
recent annals of the House of Habsburg, is of 
continuous rattling of skeletons in all the cupboards, 
and of one sane and strong man — the accepted and 
now the hereditary Head of the House — going 
gravely through his troubled life, not unmoved, 
indeed, by the ghostly noises, but, at least, without 
allowing his composure to be too visibly disturbed 
by them : a man of whom one may say, giving a 
somewhat new sense to old and hackneyed lines : — 

Si fractus illabatur orbis, 
Impavidum ferient ruinae. 

But that is not the only view of the matter which 
it is permissible to take. One may also, with the 
conclusions of science to back one, regard the 
eccentricities of the more eccentric Habsburgs, if 
not as the best proofs of sanity that they are capable 
of giving, then as instinctive and desperate, if not 
always very intelligent, endeavours to escape from 
the imminent fate which the eugenists have foretold 
for them. The family, we may take it, no less 
than the individual, is an "organism," albeit only 
partly conscious of itself; and our spectacle, we 



may add, is that of an organism blindly righting for 
its life. The fight may not be very wisely con- 
ducted, not having been begun until the work of 
destruction was too far advanced; but it is never- 
theless a fight worth fighting, and one of which we 
should follow the vicissitudes, not with horror or 
with merriment, but with intelligent sympathy. 
For degeneracy is too high a price to pay for 
haughty exclusiveness; and it is better to flee from 
the City of Destruction late in the day, followed 
and attended by the cry of scandal, than to remain 
in it and be overwhelmed. 

That, at any rate, is the appreciation of the 
Habsburg scandals — or of a good many of them — 
which will commend itself to eugenists and sociolo- 
gists, who will esteem the revolts sound in principle, 
even though they allow them to be occasionally ex- 
travagant in detail. The individual makers of the 
scandals need not be assumed to have acted from 
any higher or deeper motive than the satisfaction of 
what has more than once proved to be only a passing 
inclination. The whole circumstances of their up- 
bringing, and the precepts of duty and propriety 
impressed upon them from childhood, make that 
unlikely. But the physiological instinct behind the 
admitted motive has been a sound one. Looked at 
from the viewpoint of the individual, it had been 
the instinct of King Cophetua; looked at from the 
point of view of the race, it has been the instinct 
of self-preservation. 

It has been the tragedy — or one of the tragedies 
— of Francis Joseph that the years of his reign have 

17 c 


coincided with the years of this stage in the 
Habsburg struggle for continued existence. Chosen 
for his august and exalted post as the sanest and 
healthiest Habsburg available — albeit the son of an 
epileptic father and the nephew of an epileptic 
uncle — he has looked down from above on the 
exciting incidents and varying vicissitudes of that 
struggle. One does not know whether to regard his 
tragedy as the greater on the assumption that he 
understood the inner meaning of the spectacle or 
on the assumption that he did not understand it. 
In the former case there would be more of pathos, 
in the latter case more of irony, in the drama ; but 
it is impossible to say for certain whether he has 
understood or not. 

The probability, in the lack of direct evidence, is 
that he has understood in part. One might draw 
that inference from his occasional indulgence, as 
well as from his occasional severity, towards the 
rebels against the laws, both written and unwritten, 
of his House; and one has no right to infer the 
contrary from the fact that he himself has not 
rebelled. He is a Habsburg as well as an Emperor, 
and may very well have felt the impulses which 
appear to have become common to the race, though 
he has had both exceptional reasons and exceptional 
facilities for repressing them. One knows, at any 
rate, that he, like so many other members of his 
family, has sought, and won, the friendship of 
women outside the charmed circle of the roval 
families, and that the lady in whose company he 
seems, in the last years of his long life, to find the 



most agreeable respite from the cares of State, is 
not an Archduchess, and was once an actress. That 
fact must surely have helped him to understand. 

But these are matters for subsequent considera- 
tion. The ground is now clear; and we may pro- 
ceed, without further delay, to genealogy and 

IQ C 2 


Francis Joseph's ancestors — Francis, Duke of Lorraine — 
Francis II. — Leopold II. — Collaterals — The Spanish 
marriages of the Habsburgs — Their alliances with Por- 
tugal, the various Bourbons, and the Wittelsbachs of 
Bavaria — Moral and mental defects thus perpetuated 
and emphasised — Francis Joseph as the sane champion 
of a mad family. 

The Habsburgs can be traced back to the seventh 
century before we lose them in the crowd of common 
men. The branch of the family to which the 
Emperor Francis Joseph belongs is that known as 
the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, founded by the 
marriage of the Empress Maria Theresa to Francis, 
Duke of Lorraine, in 1736; and the House of 
Lorraine has an independent genealogy, only less 
ancient and illustrious than that of Habsburg itself, 
being descended, through the House of Anjou, 
from Hugues Capet, the ancestor of the royal house 
of France. Anjou was given, in 1246, by Saint 
Louis, to his younger brother Charles, whose grand- 
daughter married her cousin, Charles de Valois; 
and the House of Anjou kept the Duchy of Lorraine 
until Francis abdicated on the occasion of his 



marriage, in favour of Stanilas Lecszinski, whose 
daughter married Louis XV. 

This Francis seems to have been a mixed charac- 
ter, not entirely commendable. He is credited with 
virtue in his private life; but it is also related of 
him that he farmed taxes, lent money at usurious 
rates of interest, and acted as a kind of army con- 
tractor to Frederick the Great, at a time when that 
monarch was at war with Austria. He was the father 
of Marie-Antoinette, and also of the Emperors 
Joseph II. and Leopold II. Joseph left no issue, 
but Leopold, who married Marie-Louise, daughter 
of Charles III. of Spain, had a large family, only 
two members of which need be mentioned here : 

i. Francis II., who became Emperor in 1792, and 
was on the throne when Napoleon broke up the 
Holy Roman Empire. 

2. The Archduke John, whose romantic marriage 
with the daughter of a postmaster set a precedent 
for those morganatic unions which have recently 
become so frequent in the House of Habsburg. 

Leopold II. is described by the historians as a 
benevolent despot — a reformer according to his 
lights — who displayed great intolerance in re- 
ligious matters, and died young through the un- 
bridled indulgence of his amorous proclivities. 
Francis II. is an Emperor of whom it would be 
necessary to speak evil at length, if he, and not 
his grandson, were the subject of this narrative : a 
double-faced and incompetent ruler, who needed 
all the help he got from Metternich; a petty 
domestic tyrant, who behaved abominably towards 



his daughter Marie-Louise, his son-in-law Napoleon, 
and his grandson the Due de Reichstadt. How he 
deliberately threw Neipperg at his daughter's head 
for the express purpose of undermining the affection 
which her husband had, to his disgust, inspired in 
her, is a story which belongs to other pages than 
these. Here we will merely note that he married 
four wives, and by the second of them — Marie- 
Therese-Caroline-Josephine de Bourbon — had two 
sons, who now concern us : — 

1. The Emperor Ferdinand, who succeeded to 
the throne in 1835, but bowed his head before the 
storm and abdicated in 1848, though he did not die 
until 1875. 

2. The Archduke Francis Charles, who, as 
Ferdinand had no children, should have succeeded 
him, but whom his wife, the Archduchess Sophie, 
daughter of Maximilian I. of Bavaria, persuaded 
to resign his rights in favour of his eldest son, the 
present Emperor, Francis Joseph. 

That is all the genealogy which we need for the 
moment. It shows us the Habsburgs as a feeble 
folk — getting feebler as times got more tem- 
pestuous; and it also shows us Francis Joseph 
launched upon his stormy political career at the age 
of eighteen — launched upon it as the rising hope 
of a decadent family — a youth of energy and 
promise, with no sign of decadence about him, 
supple but strong, exempt, as far as could be judged, 
from the family taints of physique and character, 
and designed to restore the threatened dignity of 
the Austrian Empire, by confronting the new era 



in a new spirit. His accession will be our historical 
starting point; but, before we come to it, we must 
turn aside for a brief glance at some of those 
collateral ancestors whose traits, if there be anything 
in heredity, we may expect to see reappearing — 
not invariably, but here and there, and now and 
then — in their descendants, the Habsburgs of the 
nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

The list of the allied houses includes, of course, 
practically the whole of Catholic Europe, and a 
portion of Protestant Europe as well. To attempt 
to review them all would be to lose oneself in an 
interminable maze; but the collateral sources of 
particular contamination can be noted, and we shall 
see house after house contributing — some of them 
only on one, but some of them on several occasions 
— its strain of madness to the great family with 
which it was its privilege to intermarry. We may 
begin with the House of Burgundy, and end with 
that of Bavaria, taking on our way the Houses of 
Spain, Portugal, Medicis, and Bourbon Parma. 

Charles the Bold of Burgundy fell into a melan- 
choly madness after his defeat by the Swiss at 
Morat, and died a madman. His daughter Marie, 
Duchess of Brabant and Countess of Flanders, 
married Archduke Maximilian of Austria, son of the 
Emperor Frederick IV. Their son, Philippe le 
Bel, married that daughter of Ferdinand of 
Arragon who is known to history as Joanna the 
Mad. Those are the unfavourable circumstances in 
which we see Habsburg blood introduced into the 
royal family of Spain; and the subsequent history 



of the family presents two features pertinent to 
our survey : — 

i. A long series of degenerates among the Kings 
and Infants of Spain. 

2. A long series of marriages between Spanish 
and Austrian Habsburgs. 

No full account of the manifestations of the mad- 
ness of Spanish rulers, Princes, and Princesses can 
be given here ; they are too numerous, and also too 
gross for general reading. The briefest of sum- 
maries must suffice. Joanna the Mad travelled all 
over Spain with her husband's coffin, wailing and 
lamenting, at the top of her shrill voice, when- 
ever the funeral procession halted. Joanna's 
son, the great Emperor Charles V., lived on 
the border-line which separates genius from 
insanity, and was, at any rate, an epileptic, like 
that Archduke Charles whose campaigns against 
Napoleon were punctuated by untimely fits. His 
son, Philip II. — known to English history as the 
husband of our Bloody Mary — is described by the 
historians as "half-mad"; and Philip's brother 
Charles was notoriously a homicidal maniac. 
Philip III. was comparatively sane; but even he 
tried to poison his sister. Charles II. was nicknamed 
"the bewitched," and was so afraid of the dark 
that three monks had to sit every night at his bed- 
side, in order that he might sleep in peace. 
Philip V. was, for years, a bedridden imbecile ; and 
Ferdinand VI. was a victim of religious melan- 
cholia. Etc. The catalogue is far from com- 



plete ; but it may suffice as a preface to the statement 
that one finds eight or nine Spanish marriages in 
the Habsburg matrimonial annals. 

One encounters a very similar list of lunatics in 
the annals of the royal House of Portugal; and 
with that house also the Habsburgs have again 
and again intermarried. The pathology of the 
Medicis and the multitudinous Italian Bourbons, 
whose blood also runs in the Habsburg veins, is 
hardly better; and it can scarcely have been in the 
expectation of introducing a healthier strain that they 
sought alliances with the Wittelsbachs of Bavaria. 
Sanity, in that house, is represented by the King 
who sacrificed his kingdom to the beautiful eyes of 
Lola Montez; madness by the Kings Louis and 
Otto, whose extravagances and eccentricities have 
been related in innumerable volumes of memoirs 
and newspaper articles, and who are Francis 
Joseph's cousins. 

Assuredly no Eugenist will assert that that 
heredity is good. On the contrary, the impression 
derived from a close examination of it is that of 
several strains of insanity and decadence converg- 
ing, much in the way in which a multitude of Swiss 
mountain torrents converge to form the Rhone. But 
even that analogy is unduly favourable ; for the 
sources from which fresh blood has been introduced 
into the family have not been indefinitely numerous. 
The same source has been tapped over and over 
again by the renewal of consanguineous marriages 
in one generation after another, with the result that 
the Habsburg type — with all its peculiar physical, 



mental, and moral characteristics — has been per- 
petuated and emphasised. 

The physical characteristics were long ago recog- 
nised by the family itself with pride, and by out- 
siders with a curious wonder akin to envy and 
admiration. Napoleon so remarked it at the time 
of his betrothal to Marie-Louise, as M. Frederic 
Masson relates : — 

"When" (M. Masson writes) " Lejeune, who had 
just arrived from Vienna, showed him a sketch of 
the Archduchess which he had made at the theatre, 
'Ah!' he exclaimed in delight, 'I see she has the 
Austrian lip." 5 

In Brantome, again, we find a much earlier 
reference to the feature. He tells us how Eleanor 
of Austria, the wife of Francis I. of France, 
examined the sculptured tombs of her ancestors at 
Dijon; and he proceeds: — 

" Some of the bodies were in so good a state of 
preservation that she could distinguish many of 
their features, and, among other things, the shapes 
of their mouths. Whereupon she suddenly ex- 
claimed, ' Ah ! I always thought we got our mouths 
from our Austrian ancestors ; but I now see that 
we get them from Marie of Burgundy and the other 
Burgundians. If ever I see my brother the Emperor 
I will tell him so. Indeed, I think I will write to 
him on the subject.' The lady who informed me 
of this told me that the Queen spoke as one who 
took pride in the characteristic; wherein she was 
quite right. " 



That this physical peculiarity was, in the case of 
the Habsburgs, the outward sign of mental and 
moral divergences from the healthy norm was 
evidently as little suspected by Napoleon as by 
Brantome. It is the discovery of the students of a 
comparatively new science ; and it is a discovery of 
which the biographer must be careful to make 
neither too little nor too much. Eugenics is not 
yet an exact science; and the laws of heredity 
remain obscure. They are laws, it would seem, 
which, though generally true, cannot be relied upon 
to operate in any particular way in any particular 
case. The life of a family almost invariably con- 
firms them, whereas the life of an individual may 
often appear to confute them; and we may often 
see genius flowering on the same plant as insanity. 

The history of the Habsburgs in general — and 
the life of Francis Joseph in particular — supports 
that view of the matter. The Archduke Charles, 
who was so nearly a match for Napoleon, and 
actually beat him at Aspern, was not a very distant 
relative of the Archduke Otto who used to dance 
in a Vienna cafe, attired only in a kepi, a pair 
of gloves, and a sword-belt. The Archduchess 
Christina, who proved such an admirable mother to 
the little King of Spain — though she has trans- 
mitted a double portion of the Habsburg jaw to 
him — was no less a Habsburg than the Princess who 
so signally and so publicly failed to find happiness 
in the love of Signor Toselli. And so on, and 
so forth ; for the contrasts of the kind to which one 
could point are endless. One is left with the 



impression that the family, taken as a family, is 
mad, but that certain isolated members of it have 
Been as sane as the rest of us, and abler than the 
majority; and one needs the impression before one 
can justly appreciate the drama of Francis Joseph's 

He has stood before Europe, for more than sixty 
years, as the picked champion of the Habsburgs : 
picked not only for his ability, but also for his 
strength of character and conciliatory tact — for all 
those qualities, in short, which one looks for from 
a sane man in an exalted station. He started, as 
we have seen, under the burden of a singularly bad 
heredity; and he has carried that burden through 
life with patient endurance — and with an air of 
dignity — as if personally unconscious of the taint, 
while the lives of those nearest and dearest to him 
were furnishing undeniable proofs of it at every 
turn. He has shown himself, to conclude, the true 
head of the house, by nature as well as by pragmatic 

So much made clear, we may proceed to chronicle 
the bald facts of his birth and childhood. 



Francis Joseph's childhood — The severe education which 
prepared him for his rdle — Difficulties of that rdle — The 
Liberal revolt against the Metternich system — The idea 
of nationality — Hiibner's surprise that anyone should 
object to Austrian rule — Every Austrian a policeman 
at heart — The Italian rising- of 1848 — Francis Joseph in 
action — Radetzky's remonstrances — Francis Joseph's 
return to his studies. 

Francis Joseph was born at Schonnbrunn on 
August 1 8, 1830. His father was the Archduke 
Francis Charles, and his mother the Archduchess 
Sophie, daughter of Maxmilian I. of Bavaria. He 
grew up and was educated in the period of peace 
between the two great revolutionary storms which 
shook Europe free from the Metternich system : a 
period which begins with Metternich supreme, 
and ends with Metternich in flight from an 
angry mob. He owed his throne, the steps 
of which he mounted, as a lad of eighteen, in 
the midst of the second epoch of turmoil, to his 
mother's influence. She was an able and imperious 
woman ; she made up her mind that her son would 
make a better Emperor than either her brother-in- 



law or her husband ; she pulled the wires and 
got her way. 

The boy's education was thorough and practical : 
just the sort of education which he would have been 
given if his destiny had been in view from his birth. 
He was taught the whole duty of a soldier in each 
of the several branches of the service : to point a 
cannon as well as he could mount a horse ; to dig 
a trench as well as he could handle a sabre 
or a rifle. He was also taken through complete 
courses of history, literature, mathematics, chemistry, 
astronomy, and natural history, instructed weekly in 
the maxims of statecraft by Metternich himself, and 
compelled to acquire innumerable modern lan- 
guages : Hungarian, Czech, and Polish, as well as 
French, Italian, and, to a limited extent, English. 
It was an intellectual preparation which might easily 
have addled his brain, and does appear to have made 
him prematurely serious. Even before the troubles 
of his family compelled him to shoulder its responsi- 
bilities, he was remarked as being grave, earnest, and 
reserved : the good boy of his family, it was thought 
— and as clever as he was good. 

Of course, there are anecdotes indicating that he 
loved his people — and, above all, loved his army — 
from his earliest years. The most famous of them 
shows him to us, moved to pity by the sight of 
a sentry sweltering in the August sun, stealing up 
behind him, and dropping a small coin into his 
cartridge-box, to the delight and admiration of his 
aged grandfather: a subject picture by Kriehuber 
keeps the memory of that incident alive. " Poor 



man ! But now he is not a poor man any longer/' 
he is said to have said, jumping about with joy at 
the thought that he had made someone happy. Very 
likely it is true; very likely it is also true that he, 
who was soon to be one of the best horsemen in his 
dominions, began life with a horror of horses. Those 
about him knew what sort of a man they wanted 
him to be, and did their best to make him such a 
man. There was a regular Habsburg system of 
education, though not all the Habsburgs have done 
credit to it. The great Maria Theresa had laid it 
down that "they must not be coddled or spoiled"; 
and the Emperor Joseph had expressed similar 
sentiments in emphatic language : — 

" It may be enough for one of my subjects to say 
that, whereas his son will be of service to the State 
if he is well educated, the neglect to educate him 
does not matter, as he will have no public functions 
to perform. The case of an Archduke — a possible 
heir to the throne — is very different. The most im- 
portant of all public functions — the government of 
the State — is absolutely incumbent on him. The 
question, therefore, whether he is or is not well edu- 
cated, is one which it should be impossible to raise. 
He must be well educated; for there is no branch 
of the administration in which he might not do infinite 
harm if he had not the necessary knowledge to cope 
with his task and were unprovided with fixed prin- 
ciples of conduct." 

It is a prescription as admirable as any to be 
found in the copy-book; though the rigid applica- 
tion of it has not prevented a good many Habsburgs 




from turning out, from the Habsburg point of view, 
badly. It is a call to every Habsburg in turn to 
" be a Habsburg," in the sense in which George III.'s 
mother appealed to him to " be a King M ; and it rests 
upon a conception of the House of Habsburg as 
a house specially and divinely called into being in 
order to practise the art of government in central 
Europe. One may almost say that it assumes a 
caste of anointed rulers differing from their subjects 
as angels differ from the children of men ; but it 
stops short of the corollary that rulers are born, not 
made. It lays down, rather, that the caste, in order 
to retain and exalt its qualities as a caste, must 
always be specialising from infancy to age. In that 
way, and in that way alone, its members might 
dispense with genius. 

On the whole, they have had to dispense with it : 
their figures do not tower above the figures of their 
ministers, like those of Alexander I. of Russia and 
Frederick the Great of Prussia. Metternich is not 
the only Austrian minister who has been infinitely 
greater than any of the Emperors whom he served. 
Not all of them, again, have continued to specialise 
a day after the compulsion of tutors was withdrawn. 
A great many of them, on the contrary — a constantly 
increasing number of them in these latter times — 
have openly revolted against every restriction which 
made the caste characteristic. But the caste has 
continued, buttressed by the system, an object of 
regard, and almost of veneration, thanks to certain 
model Habsburgs, who have consented to the restric- 
tions, and profited by them. Francis Joseph steps 



on to the stage of history as such a one : a specialised 
Habsburg, approaching nearer to genius than the 
others, but also gifted with a tactful adaptability 
which has enabled him to realise that the dead past 
must be allowed to bury its dead from time to time. 
Let us indicate the political troubles which called 
him into activity. 

The revolutions of 1830 had been, in the main, 
abortive : a symptom of general discontent, but not 
its complete and successful expression. The work 
done at the Resettlement of 181 5 had been shaken 
by it, but had not, except here and there — in 
Belgium, for instance — been upset; and that re- 
settlement had been planned in the interest of 
reigning houses, not of peoples. The reigning 
houses continued to sit on the safety valve; and 
the steam which was trying to find vent through the 
safety valve consisted of : — 

1. Liberal ideas in general. 

2. The idea of nationality in particular. 

To both those groups of ideas the Austrian 
Government was bitterly opposed ; with both of 
them it was to have trouble. Its political prisons 
were famous throughout Europe as the homes of 
distinguished men, and its subject populations 
seethed with discontent. The idea of nationality 
was particularly obnoxious to it because it did not 
itself repose upon a national basis. " Austria/' said 
Mazzini, with a gesture of disdain, " is not a country, 
but a bureaucracy"; and Austria was, in fact — what 
Metternich said that Italy was — a geographical ex- 



pression. It simply comprised the possessions of the 
House of Habsburg, which had, for generations, 
added field to field by means of prosperous mar- 
riages, 1 or accepted territory as the recompense of 
services rendered in war. The Emperor of Austria 
was also King of Hungary, King of Lombardy, 
King of Bohemia, etc., etc. : the head, as it were, 
of an ancient firm formed to carry on the general 
purposes of government in central Europe, and 
regarding men and women merely as material to 
be governed. 

The system had its advantages — it kept the peace 
provisionally in what might otherwise have been one 
of the cockpits of Europe. That was what the 
French diplomatist meant when he said that, if the 
Austrian Empire had not existed it would have been 
necessary to invent it. But it was not popular, and 
it tended to make every Austrian statesman a police- 
man at heart. Even Metternich was a policeman at 
heart : a policeman of genius — a policeman of wide 
culture and charming manners — but still a police- 
man. He and his subordinates simply could not 
understand that people of other races might object 
to being policed by Germans. The Germans, they 
considered, were the best policemen in the world; 
and that should be an end of the matter. Count 
Hiibner — a most intelligent Austrian — threw up his 
hands in amazement at the obstinate prevalence of 
the contrary opinion : — 

" To-day " (we find him writing in his diary) " the 

1 The idea was set forth in the famous hexameter line : 
Bella gerant alii: tu, fclix Austria, nube. 



magic word which moves the masses — not the pro- 
letariate, but the intelligent public — is nationality. 
Germans, Italians, Poles, Magyars, Slavs ! It is a 
formula capable of throwing the universe off its 
hinges — the lever which Archimedes sought in vain. 
The ringleaders have discovered it. With this lever 
they have, in the course of a few days, upset the old 
social system, and dazzled the eyes of the purblind 
with the deceptive promise of the perpetual happi- 
ness of the human race." 

The peoples of central Europe, in Hiibner's 
opinion, should have been as proud of their subjec- 
tion to the House of Habsburg as the domestic ser- 
vants whom Thackeray met on the top of the coach 
were of their position as the flunkeys of the 
Duke of Richmond. Italian national aspirations, 
in particular, seemed to him merely comical. 
He derided the Italians as mongrels — a medley of 
Gauls, Celts, Goths, Germans, Greeks, Normans, 
and Arabs; he recalled the internecine strife which 
had raged among their Republics in the Middle 
Ages. He comforted himself with the reflection that 
they spoke different dialects in different parts of the 
Peninsula, and he concluded : " I cannot believe in 
a United Italy." 

Yet Italy was being united — and the Austrian 
Empire was apparently crumbling into its component 
parts — at the moment when he wrote, in July, 1848. 
Already, from the beginning of that year, anxiety 
had been widespread; and, in February, events in 
France had given a signal of unmistakable 
significance. " If Guizot falls," Melanie Metter- 

35 d 2 


nich exclaimed, " then we are all lost." Guizot did 
fall; and Louis-Philippe fell with him. The news 
reached Vienna; and it seemed as if Austria was in 
the melting-pot, though the trouble began, not in 
Vienna, but at Milan, where an Archduke reigned 
as Viceroy, and that sturdy octogenarian Radetzky 
commanded the army of occupation. 

Charles Albert, King of Sardinia — the great- 
grandfather of the present King of Italy — had 
promised to be " the sword of Italy," on one con- 
dition. He would not collaborate with mere con- 
spirators, but if there were an insurrection he would 
march to the aid of the insurgents. His terms were 
accepted, and there was a riot which became a re- 
volution, though, in its inception, it presented some 
of the distinguishing characteristics of comic opera. 

The revolutionists began by decreeing that as 
the Austrian Government depended largely for its 
revenues on the tobacco monopoly, no one in 
Italy should smoke. Austrian soldiers retorted by 
swaggering through the streets of Milan, smoking 
several cigars at once. Female patriots knocked the 
cigars out of their mouths, and pelted them from 
the house-tops with flower-pots and other missiles; 
while male patriots, armed with various weapons, 
molested them in other ways. There was street 
fighting, and there were killed and wounded. The 
patriots were many ; the garrison was small ; Charles 
Albert was known to be coming. Radetzkv had no 
choice but to withdraw his troops within the famous 
Quadrilateral of Fortresses, leaving the provisional 
government set up by the revolutionists in posses- 



sion. It seemed to the sapient Hiibner a case of 
black ingratitude towards the admirable Austrian 

But Austria was not, this time, to be beaten. 
Within the Quadrilateral Radetzky was safe; and, 
in due course, he marched out and defeated Charles 
Albert at Custozza. Few reinforcements had 
reached him, but they sufficed; and among the 
officers who came to serve under him was included 
Francis Joseph — not yet eighteen years of age. It 
was his first appearance in the field; and Radetzky 
was not particularly glad to see him. The scene 
which passed between the stripling and the veteran 
is best described in the Life of Radetzky included 
in General Ambert's Cinq Epees : — 

" Radetzky addressed the new arrival in peremp- 
tory military language. ' Imperial Highness,' he 
said, ' your presence here is exceedingly embarrass- 
ing for me. Consider my responsibility in case any- 
thing should happen to you ! If you should be 
taken prisoner, for instance, the accident would 
annihilate at a stroke any advantage which the 
Austrian army might have gained/ ' Marshal/ re- 
plied Francis Joseph, 'it is quite possible that it 
was unwise to send me here; but, as I am here, 
honour forbids me to depart without facing the 
enemy's fire'; and his eyes filled with tears as he 

"No objection could be taken to an explanation 
so simple and gallant; and it was agreed that the 
Archduke should take part in the next battle, which 
was fought a few days later (the battle of May 6, 
at Santa Lucia). Here are the precise words of the 



report, addressed by Radetzky, immediately after 
that sanguinary struggle, to the Minister of War : 
' I was myself an eye-witness of the intrepidity dis- 
played by the Archduke, when one of the enemy's 
shells burst quite close to him. 5 " 

"Austria does not lack Archdukes," he said gal- 
lantly, when implored not to expose himself to 
danger; but his battle was only of the nature of a 
holiday treat. He was still in static -pupillari — 
occupied with the severe studies by which he was 
preparing himself for his great role', and when 
he had done enough for honour, he returned to 
them. It was then, or soon afterwards, that he was 
confidentially informed of the great trust about to 
be reposed in him ; but the intimation neither puffed 
him up with pride nor disturbed his diligence. He 
brought out his books again — immense tomes deal- 
ing with Roman, civil, criminal, and canonical law 
— and resumed his reading, almost as if everything 
depended upon his passing an examination in high 
honours. Not if he could help it should the arrival 
of his hour find him unready for it. 

And his hour was near, for the times were critical. 
Trouble at home had followed hard on the heels of 
the trouble in Lombardy, and, being more com- 
plicated, had been more difficult to deal with. 



The risings of 1848 — Princess M&anie Metternich's excited 
account of it — Disorderly flight of Metternich from 
Vienna — The House of Habsburg saved by "three 
mutinous soldiers " — Abdication of the Emperor Fer- 
dinand in favour of his nephew, Francis Joseph — 
Hubner's description of the ceremony. 

If we want to look at the disturbances which broke 
up the old order in Austria through contemporary 
eyes, our most helpful document will be the Diary 
of Metternich's wife, Princess Melanie — so called, 
tout court, as an indication that she ranked, like 
the Archduchesses, as one of the Olympian god- 
desses of Viennese Society. One seems, as one 
reads it, to be listening to the shrieks of a fluttered 
bird; for Princess Melanie understood as little as 
a bird would have understood, the true significance 
of the uprising. Sheer wantonness was, for her, 
the sole motive of the revolutionists; black ingrati- 
tude towards good rulers was their distinguishing 
characteristic; and the outcome of the agitation 
could only be "the end of all." All that because 
the students and the artisans had announced that 
they desired a "Constitution." 

Already we have seen Princess Melanie pre- 



dieting that, if Guizot fell, all was lost; and, after 
the events of February, 1848, in Paris, she saw 
horrors accumulating on horror's head : — 

" Poor Germany is already in a blaze. Never 
were times graver or more solemn. Every hour 
brings forth a fresh event, and fresh troubles are 
perpetually being added to those already in exist- 

All the thrones in Germany were, in truth, being 
shaken, though they were all eventually to recover; 
and now the privileges of the Austrian throne itself 
were being challenged : — 

" Kossuth has moved a resolution which the 
Chamber of Deputies has approved. These people 
actually demand nothing less than a Constitution for 
Austria ! . . . . The agitation is general, and the 
terror is great. People are so alarmed — especially 
the great financiers — that they propose concessions 
to the popular demand, and see no chance of safety 
except in making them. One would say that Hell 
had broken loose. God alone can dam the torrent 
which threatens to swallow up everything." 

At first, the trouble was confined to Hungary; 
but the contagion spread : — 

" Here, too, the public is very much disposed to 
ask for a Constitution, and our various provincial 
assemblies are beginning to pass the most re- 
grettable resolutions. May God enlighten us and 
give us the strength to be firm ! That is all that 
I pray for." 

And then : — 



u The news from Germany gets worse and 
worse. There no longer is any Germany in the 
true sense of the word, for all the German sover- 
eigns have been compelled to make concessions. 
. . . One really needs superhuman moral force to 
withstand this popular agitation." 

So the trouble came nearer and nearer; and it 
became clear that Metternich himself was the object 
of popular hostility. Threatening letters were 
received. A piece of paper was found affixed to 
Metternich's door, bearing the words : " Down with 
Metternich. We want concessions ! " Princess 
Melanie herself received a significant warning, 
at one of her own receptions, from Felicie 
Esterhazy : — 

" She let fall the following laconic remark : ' Is 
it true that you are going away to-morrow ? ' 
'Why?' I asked her. 'Because we were told that 
we had better buy candles in order to be able to 
illuminate to-morrow, as a great event was about 
to happen.' " 

A great event did happen on the morrow — though 
not the event which Felicie Esterhazy had in view; 
and Princess Melanie witnessed it. She saw a 
demonstration on the Ballplatz, and heard an 
agitator, lifted on to the shoulders of his com- 
panions, shouting : — 

" Long live the imperial house ! We want con- 
cessions in conformity with the spirit of the times 
(cheers). Give us freedom of the press (cheers); 
let justice be administered publicly (cheers); let 
there be freedom of thought (cheers) ! Let those 



who have outlived their usefulness resign and go 
(tremendous acclamations) ! " 

And Princess Melanie complains that " no one 
interfered with this indecent demonstration, " and 
that " no one attempted to silence the brawlers." 

She called the demonstrations "indecent" be- 
cause they were obviously aimed at her husband, 
who, far more than the Emperor, symbolised that 
ancien regime which the students and artisans were 
resolved to end. The Emperor, indeed, was merely 
a weak-minded, good-natured old gentleman to 
whom no one wished any harm. He was as ready 
to grant concessions as to give alms ; and his 
subjects knew it, cheered him when he drove 
through the streets, and decorated their barricades 
with his portraits. Their objection was not to him. 
but to his police, who took Princess Melanie's old- 
fashioned view of concessions : notably, therefore, 
to Metternich, the policeman of genius. 

It was idle for Metternich to protest, as he some- 
times did, in after years, that, though he might 
sometimes have governed Europe, he certainly 
had never governed Austria. The people knew 
— or thought that they knew — better. The chief 
article in their simple creed was that Metternich 
must go ; and the sole question for Ferdinand and 
his Court and Ministers was whether Metternich 
should or should not be thrown overboard as a 
Jonah who brought ill luck to the Austrian ship 
of state. The upshot appears from these entries 
in Princess Melanie's Journal : — 



"At half-past six, Clement was sent for to the 

" Yes, Clement has resigned." 

The circumstances of the interview in which 
he did so were afterwards related by him to 
Hiibner : — 

" The Archduke Louis came to me and said : 
1 These gentlemen tell me that, if you could make 
up your mind to resign, order could be re-estab- 
lished.' I asked, 'What is it that your Highness 
desires me to do ? ' He replied, ' It is for you to 
decide what to do.' Thereupon I instantly resigned 
the office of Chancellor, and went into the adjoining 
apartment to inform the Delegates of the States 
that I had done so. One of these gentlemen spoke 
of generosity, and said that my resignation put a 
worthy coping-stone upon a long career. ' No, no,' 
I said. 'It is merely a concession to the revolu- 

But he not only had to quit office; he also had 
to leave Vienna, where his life, in spite of his 
resignation, was not safe. He could not even leave 
at his leisure, but had to depart in a hurry without 
packing, dining with his friends, the Taaffes, and 
then driving off, in great haste, to Feldsberg, 
whence he made his way through Germany and 
Holland to England, where he landed just in time 
for his son Richard to be sworn in as a special 
constable, and bludgeon the Chartists, shoulder to 
shoulder with the future Napoleon III. The 
fluttered Diary records it all in a succession of shrill 
screams : What has Metternich — once the police- 




man of Europe — done to deserve such treatment ! 
How black is the ingratitude of man ! But Princess 
Melanie might as well have exclaimed against 
the black ingratitude of water, which, under the 
exciting influence of heat, expands into steam, and 
blows up the man who sits on the safety-valve, 
without the least regard to his personal charm and 
intellectual culture. 

So ironical is fate ; and there was a still more 
cruel irony in the fact that the House of Habsburg, 
which owed so much to Metternich, seemed rather 
relieved to be rid of him, regarding his policy 
as an asset but his personality as an incubus. Alone 
among the members of the Imperial House, Francis 
Joseph's mother remembered to write a polite letter, 
inquiring how he was getting on, and confiding to 
him the hopes which were concentrated in her son, 
his political pupil : — 

" My poor Franzi has been my sole consolation in 
our hours of trouble. In the midst of my anguish 
and despair, I have continued to bless God for 
giving me such a boy. His courage, his firmness, 
his judgment have been unshaken — altogether 
beyond what one would expect from a lad of his 
age — and have encouraged the hope that God will 
grant him a great career, since He has given him 
the strength to face all the risks of life." 

But though the Archduchess Sophie wrote in 
that charming vein, she was herself one of those 
who had agreed that Metternich had better be 
sacrificed, as he was so inconveniently unpopular; 
and Metternich replied, not without a sense of 



bitterness, that he thought very highly of Francis 
Joseph, and had a great affection for him, and was 
quite confident that he would succeed in life as well 
as his mother could wish, if only he remembered 
and applied the maxims of statecraft which he him- 
self had taught him. But he also, at the same time, 
chuckled through his tears, observing that the 
jettisoning of the Jonah did not seem to have saved 
the ship. 

For order did not yet reign in Vienna; on the 
contrary, the revolution was going from bad to 
worse, and the Court had to leave the capital. First 
it went to loyal Innsbruck, in loyal Tyrol — whence 
Francis Joseph paid his visit, already mentioned, to 
the Army of Italy. Then it returned, under the 
illusion that things were going better; and then it 
went off again to Olmiitz. Hungary and Bohemia, 
as well as Italy, were in open rebellion ; and Vienna 
continued to throw up barricades from time to time. 
Unwelcome Ministers were forced on the Emperor, 
made concessions, and then gave place to others 
who promised still more concessions. The condi- 
tions of 1789, said the people who knew history, 
were giving place to the conditions of 1793. At 
any moment they might expect to see the guillotine 
"going always," and the Emperor's head rolling 
from the block into a basket. 

Nor did the House of Habsburg, in that dark 
hour, save itself. On the contrary. " The 
monarchy," as Felix Schwarzenberg put it, "was 
saved by three mutinous soldiers " : Radetzky, the 
octogenarian who would not grow old; Alfred von 



Windischgraetz, the unbending aristocrat, who was 
vastly more imperialist than the Emperor; Jellacic, 
the swaggering and self-sufficient Ban of Croatia. 
They agreed, to put it bluntly, that the Emperor 
Ferdinand was an old fool who had been 
bounced by his Ministers into giving orders which 
it behoved them to disobey. So Radetzky, being 
ordered to evacuate Lombardy, remained there ; and 
Windischgraetz, being ordered to hold a portion of 
his forces at the disposition of the War Minister, 
replied that he could not spare them; and Jellaci^, 
being dismissed from his command, refused to give 
it up. In that way, they collared the situation and 
saved it. 

The Hungarians, marching on Vienna, were met 
by Jellac^ig and driven back. Windischgraetz, after 
first putting down the rising in Bohemia, marched 
down to Vienna and laid siege to it. Radetzky 
reinforced him, and then the end was near. 
Windischgraetz, in truth, had other reasons besides 
his loyalty to make him furious. His own wife had 
been one of the victims of the insurrection — shot 
while she stood at an open window to watch the 
rioting; so that it was not in the least likely that 
he would hesitate to shoot, or allow the insurgents 
to surrender otherwise than at discretion. First, 
therefore, he bombarded Vienna; and then he 
forced the gates and stormed the barricades. There 
was a certain show of resistance, but then, after a 
few military executions, order did really reign, and 
the House of Habsburg was really saved, except in 
so far as the Hungarians were still a menace to it. 

4 6 


And the Emperor Ferdinand's first act, when his 
safety was assured, was to abdicate in favour of his 
nephew, Francis Joseph. 

It was an abdication which had, long since, been 
contemplated, and even arranged. Metternich, the 
Empress, and the Archduchess Sophie had put 
their heads together and settled it. None of them 
had any illusions about the Emperor, and it does 
not appear that the Emperor had any illusions about 
himself. None the less, the secret had been well 
kept. Hiibner, Schwarzenberg, and Windischgraetz 
were the only people who knew what was going to 
happen, or for what purpose the members of the 
royal family, and the functionaries connected with 
the Court, were suddenly summoned to assemble in 
the imperial residence at Olmiitz at eight o'clock 
in the morning : — 

" At half-past seven " (writes Hiibner, whose 
function it was to take the minutes of the meeting) 
"the apartments adjoining the throne room were 
gorgeous with civil and military uniforms. There 
were present all the Archdukes and Archduchesses, 
with their ladies and gentlemen in waiting, the 
Canons of the Chapter of Olmiitz, and a few ladies 
belonging to the aristocracy. Intense curiosity was 
imprinted on every countenance. The most remark- 
able guesses passed from mouth to mouth at this 
brilliant gathering, but — strange to say — no one 
guessed the truth. The Archduke Maximilian 
asked me what it was all about. The Archduke 
Ferdinand of Este addressed the same question to 
the War Minister, and received, as did the brother 
of the future Emperor, an evasive answer." 



Soon the proceedings began : — 

" Punctually at eight o'clock, the folding doors 
of the throne-room were thrown open to give admis- 
sion to the Archdukes Maximilian, Charles Louis, 
and Ferdinand of Este, to the Archduchesses Maria 
Dorothea, widow of the Archduke Joseph, and 
Elizabeth, wife of the Archduke Ferdinand, to the 
Ministers, to Marshal Windischgraetz, to the Ban 
of Croatia, and to Count Grunne, Master of the 
Horse of the Archduke Francis Joseph. . . . When 
the door was closed on us, their Majesties, followed 
by the Landgrave Frederick of Furstenberg, Prince 
Lobkowitz, the Emperor's aide-de-camp, and the 
Landgravine of Furstenberg, grand mistress to 
the Empress, together with the Archduke Francis 
Charles, the Archduchess Sophia, and their son, 
the Archduke Francis Joseph, entered. Their 
Majesties took their places on two armchairs in front 
of the throne, and the Archdukes and Archduchesses 
took theirs on chairs arranged in the form of a 
rectangle on either side of the throne. The Minis- 
ters, Marshal Windischgraetz, and Ban Jellacic 
stood facing the Emperor. There was a deep and 
solemn silence." 

The silence was broken by the Emperor himself, 
reading the statement prepared for him : the simple 
statement that important considerations had decided 
him to transmit his crown to his nephew. Then it 
was the turn of Felix Schwarzenberg. Ordinarily 
an impassive man, he now read, in a voice shaking 
with emotion, the three documents which gave legal 
validity to the transaction : the declaration that 
Francis Joseph had attained his majority; the 

4 8 


declaration that Francis Joseph's father renounced 
his own rights in his son's favour; the Emperor's 
formal act of abdication. One after the other, the 
three documents were signed by those whom they 
concerned ; and Francis Joseph knelt — for the last 
time — to Ferdinand, to receive his blessing. 

Sei brav, es 1st gerne gescheken, were Ferdinand's 
words. Literally it means: "Be good; I did it 
willingly." Practically it meant : " Never mind me. 
I don't feel hurt in the least. On the contrary, I'm 
well out of it." He ceased, and the retiring 
Empress embraced the boy Emperor. According 
to Hiibner, the Archduchesses sobbed aloud, and 
there was not a dry eye in the room; and while the 
eyes of the company were still moist, the door was 
once more opened, and the courtiers, assembled in 
the ante-chamber, were informed of what had passed. 
That done, Francis Joseph rode out to review the 
troops, and receive their acclamations; while the 
Emperor Ferdinand and the Empress Marianna 
quietly took the afternoon train to Prague. 

Thus the change was effected, quite simply, and 
almost without ceremony. It almost looks as 
though everything was done in a hurry, so that no one 
might have time to question the wisdom of doing it, 
" Farewell to my youth ! " said Francis Joseph when, 
addressed for the first time as "Your Majesty," he 
realised the change in his condition, and the respon- 
sibilities to which he was committed, so soon after 
his eighteenth birthday. But he had never known 
what it was to be young, as boys of humbler station 
know it; and his opportunities of unbending, as 

49 e 


some monarchs unbend, were to be few. He was 
the sole hope of the Habsburgs ; he had to shoulder 
the whole burden of the Habsburgs; and he was 
to find it heavy. Princess Melanie, when the news 
of his accession reached her, trembled for him : 

" How is an Emperor of eighteen years of age to 
steer his course amid such conflicting currents? I 
shudder when I think of him — the last hope which 
now remains to us. May God bless him, and give 
him energy, while giving his counsellors the wisdom 
which they will need ! " 

The grounds of her anxiety — particular as well 
as general — appear on the same page of her Diary : 

" They tell me that a Republic has been pro- 
claimed in Hungary, with Kossuth as Dictator." 

Which meant that Ferdinand had indeed reason 
to regard himself as "well out of it," and that 
Francis Joseph had not ascended an undisputed 
throne, but one for the defence of which he would 
have to fight desperately hard. 



Attitude of the Hungarians towards Francis Joseph — They 
denounce him as a traitor, and banish him from 
Hungary — Contempt of Austrians for Hungarians — The 
conquest of Hungary with Russian help — Repression and 
atrocities — Women flogged by order of Marshal Haynau 
— Marshal Haynau himself flogged by Barclay and 
Perkins' draymen in London, and spat upon by women 
in Brussels — Popular song written on that occasion. 

The state of things which Francis Joseph found 
on his accession was this : In Vienna, all was over 
except the shooting and the shouting. Tyrol — the 
Vendee of Austria — was, as it always had been, 
loyal. In Bohemia, Windischgraetz had crushed the 
insurrection as he might have cracked a nut. But 
Italy and Hungary were still formidable, and had to 
be reconquered. 

In Italy there was a renewal of the fighting; and 
the work done at Custozza had to be done over 
again at Novara — Charles Albert then taking 
a leaf out of the book of the Emperor Fer- 
dinand and abdicating in favour of his son, the 
famous Victor Emmanuel. In Hungary, the work 
of conquest had hardly even been begun; and 

51 e 2 



though Jellacic had held the Hungarians up at the 
gates of Vienna, they were in a position to hold him 
up many times before he could get to the gates of 
Buda-Pesth. So that the position was extremely 

It had been hastily assumed that Francis Joseph 
would be popular in Hungary. He had once been 
sent there, as a boy, to represent the Emperor at 
some public function, had made a fluent speech in 
the Hungarian language, and had been vociferously 
cheered. No doubt the precocious bonhomie of 
his manner had made a favourable impression; but 
that was not enough at a time when the old Hun- 
garian privileges and the new Hungarian constitu- 
tion were at issue. The affability of the sovereign 
was no substitute for the rights of his subjects; and 
the Hungarians would only consent to love, and 
be loyal to, the Austrian Emperor " on terms." 

And those terms could not be granted. Francis 
Joseph, brought up in the school of Metternich, 
would hardly have been disposed to grant 
them if his hands had been free; and the men 
who stood by him — and over him — such men as 
Windischgraetz and Felix Schwarzenberg — would 
not have let him grant them if he had wanted to. 
As they had already saved Vienna for him, so they 
now proposed to save Austria and Hungary for 
him — but in their own way, and not in his. Know- 
ing what they wanted, they told him what he 
wanted ; and they had control of the machinery. In 
order to understand their proceedings, we must 
define their attitude, noting that they were, in the 


The Emperor Francis Joseph at the time of his Accession 
in 1848. 


first place, aristocrats, and, in the second place, 

As aristocrats, they held that, as Windischgraetz 
put it, " mankind begins with the baron," and that 
■ no men except the nobly born had any rights which 
it was proper to take seriously — that they themselves 
belonged, in short, to a divinely designated ruling 
caste. As Teutons they regarded themselves as 
belonging to a divinely designated ruling race — the 
natural superiors of Italians, Hungarians, and 
Croats. Their conception of a sound imperial 
policy was, therefore, to employ the Hungarians to 
cut the throats of the Italians, and the Croats to 
cut the throats of the Hungarians; while they, 
directing operations, unified and Germanised the 

The Hungarians, however, were a stubborn race 
who had no desire to be Germanised. They were, 
they urged, an independent people whose relations 
to the Habsburgs were defined by the Statutes of 
1723; and they should not recognise Francis 
Joseph as their ruler until he had been crowned 
by their Archbishop at Pesth, and had sworn to 
obey the laws of the Kingdom of St. Stephen. 
That was the reply which they flung in Francis 
Joseph's teeth when he issued a proclamation in- 
dicating his intention to " unite all the countries 
and tribes of the monarchy into one integral 
State!' Hungary, they maintained, was not 
part of a State, but a State in itself, and should 
remain one. The Habsburgs, in trying to incor- 
porate them in Austria, were " traitors to the liberties 



of Hungary," and should be banished from 
Hungarian soil for evermore. On those pleas 
issue was joined, and the Hungarian war of 1849 

It is one of the forgotten wars of European his- 
tory : a particularly savage war, and one of which 
the issue hung for a long time in the balance. The 
heroic Georgei, whose name was then a household 
word, proved himself very nearly a match for the 
swaggering Ban of Croatia; and it looked, for a 
time, as though, even if Francis Joseph did recon- 
quer his Kingdom, the days of Austria as a first- 
class Power were numbered. Palmerston, for one, 
thought so, and said so, declaring, in the House of 
Commons, that " if, the war being fought out to the 
uttermost, Hungary should, by superior forces, be 
utterly crushed, Austria, in that battle, will have 
crushed her own right arm." 

But Palmerston was wrong; and Austria, neither 
for the first nor for the last time in her history, de- 
feated the predictions of the prophets. She has 
been called the Sick Woman, as Turkey used to 
be called the Sick Man, of Europe; but the Sick 
Woman has had a wonderfully elastic constitu- 
tion, and has been wonderfully favoured by the 
chapter of accidents. Again and again in her his- 
tory we have a vision of disjecta membra re-attach- 
ing themselves, as it were, to the disabled trunk, so 
that it could once more get up and walk. It was 
so in 1849, when, the Poles having risen to help 
the Hungarians, the Russians, knowing what they 
themselves might have to fear from victorious Poles, 



crossed the frontier to Francis Joseph's rescue. 
That accident — happy or unhappy as one likes to 
regard it — turned the scale in the nick of time ; and 
the rest was butchery, akin to that of the White 
Terror in France, but worse — a blood bath which 
scandalised Europe : the campaign of Haynau — 
called the Hyaena because of his grim chuckles at 
the sufferings which he caused — against the de- 

Certain excesses had been committed, in the 
early days of the revolutionary excitement — the 
War Minister, Latour, among others, had fallen a 
victim to mob violence. Those excesses were now 
avenged, not merely on the mob, but on the middle 
classes and on the Magnates. Croatian soldiers 
were turned loose on Hungarian towns, with a free 
hand to loot and ravish. Hungarian officers — 
officers who were also noblemen — were impressed 
as private soldiers, and placed in Austrian regi- 
ments, with the deliberate purpose of breaking their 
spirits. That was the treatment meted out even to 
some members of the great Hungarian houses of 
Esterhazy and Batthyany; and a Baron Podanitzky, 
who had been impressed in the artillery, was actually 
flogged in the streets of a Hungarian town on some 
absurd charge of having lost part of a bag of corn 
entrusted to his care. 

Even women were flogged. Here is the deposi- 
tion of one of them, published at the time in every 
newspaper in Europe — the truth of the story being 
confirmed, after inquiry on the spot, by the special 
correspondent of The Times : — 



" Some imperialist troops entered Ruskby. It is 
probable that my enviable family happiness had 
created enemies at Ruskby, and that they were 
resolved to destroy it, for I am not aware that any 
of us had committed any fault. I was suddenly, 
without a previous trial or examination, taken from 
my husband and children. I was dragged into a 
square formed by the troops, and in the place in 
which I reside, and in the presence of its popula- 
tion, which had been accustomed to honour me, not 
because I was the Lady of the Manor, but because 
the whole tenor of my life deserved it, / ivas flogged 
with rods. You see I can write the words without 
dying of shame ; but my husband took his own life. 
Deprived of all other weapons, he shot himself 
with a small cannon." 

The story was contradicted, on the ground that 
no such place as Ruskby could be found on the 
map; but the only error was the printer's. The 
scene of the outrage was Ruskberg. The punish- 
ment was inflicted by the orders of a Captain 
Graber; and its victim was Mme. de Madersbach, 
the widow of a partner in the ironworks of Hoff- 
mann and Madersbach. It was, of course, only 
one of the informal, and, as it were, accidental 
outrages. The formal outrages took the form 
of military executions. Generals and Colonels of 
the Hungarian Army, and Members of the Hun- 
garian Chamber of Deputies were put to death — 
some of them hanged and others shot — until hardly 
one of them was left; and most of those who were 
left were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment 
in irons; while diplomatic machinery was set in 



motion — happily in vain — to obtain the extradition 
of the few fugitives who had succeeded in taking 
refuge with the Turks. The demand for their sur- 
render, addressed to the Sultan, on behalf of the 
Austrians, by the Tsar, gave the Moslem an oppor- 
tunity which he did not miss of administering a 
rebuke to the Christian : 

"Your adjutant" (the Sultan wrote), "has de- 
manded the extradition of the Hungarian refugees. 
The demand being made to excite hate against 
yourself as well as against me, I desire Your 
Majesty will not insist on carrying that point." 

The most cruel of all the cruelties — the one, at 
all events, which made the greatest stir in the world 
— was the execution of Louis Batthyany, some time 
Prime Minister of Hungary. He was the grandson 
of the Batthyany who had saved the great Maria 
Theresa, when Frederick the Great chased her on to 
Hungarian soil, raising the cry — it was raised in 
Latin — Moriamur fro rege nostro ; but the memory 
of that great service did not save him ; and Countess 
Marie Larisch's statement, in " My Past," that " he 
eluded the executioner by poisoning himself in 
prison," is incorrect. He attempted to cut his throat 
with a blunt penknife, and failed; and was only 
shot, instead of hanged, because the dragging of a 
wounded man to the gibbet might have made too 
great a scandal. His widow made his son swear 
an oath that never, in any circumstances, would he 
speak to Francis Joseph, or in any way acknowledge 
his existence; and the handsome young Elemar 



Batthyany kept his oath, and long years afterwards 
used to cut the Emperor in the hunting field, while 
making love to the Empress behind his back. 

If one could hold Francis Joseph personally 
responsible for these atrocities, one would, indeed, 
have to regard him as a sinister youth who has 
since grown into a sinister old man. One must 
hope, on the contrary — and one may fairly hope, 
as he was less than nineteen at the time — that he 
was only the dummy of a sanguinary camarilla, 
and the obedient son of a hard-hearted, ambitious, 
and self-righteous mother. But he assumed the pos- 
ture of a sinister youth, whether he assumed it con- 
sciously or not, by refusing mercy even when mothers, 
who had succeeded in obtaining audience, knelt 
weeping at his feet, and pleaded for the lives of their 
sons, and replying cynically to a remonstrance 
against Louis Batthyany's execution that " the Im- 
perial word had been pledged that every Austrian 
subject without distinction should be equal in the 
eye of the law." So that the Vienna correspondent 
of the Kolner Zeitung wrote : — 

" Hanging and shooting — shooting and hanging. 
Such is at present the manner in which the men in 
power say good morning and good night to the 
nations of Austria. The strong hand in Austria 
is a bloody hand, and the slaughter once begun is 
so tempting that our rulers cannot think of leaving 
off. The whole of the civilised world protests 
against the present doings in Hungary. Schwarz- 
enberg and his fellows cause public opinion to 
extend its imprecation to a greater person — to the 
Emperor whom the people ouo;ht not to be taught to 



associate with cruelties and deeds of blood, violence, 
and vengeance. Under the absolute government of 
former times, the people of Austria were fond of 
their Emperor; for whatever they suffered they 
threw the blame on the aristocracy and the bureau- 
cracy. They said : ' If the Emperor could but know 
of it, he would help us.' At present nobody thinks 
of saying such a thing. They say, ' The Emperor 
knows it and he does it.' " 

Cynicism reached its height — one cannot say 
whether it was Francis Joseph's own cynicism or 
not — in the attempt to maintain the gaiety of the 
Court in the midst of this Reign of Terror. As 
Baroness von Beck puts it : — 

" Ball followed ball, soirees were announced, and 
assemblies were held, but Rachel wept still for her 
children, and refused to be comforted. The Lloyd 
published day after day the most magniloquent re- 
ports of the Court festivals, long lists of the beauties 
who assisted at them, descriptions of the gorgeous 
costumes with which they were adorned ; but they 
were read without any emotion. It would not do; 
the city was in mourning ; such fantastic attempts at 
mirth were out of season. They jarred upon the 
public feeling. If they ever won a moment of public 
approbation, it was like a smile upon a widow's 
countenance, speedily followed by a blush of re- 
proach at her momentary forgetfulness of the one 
great sorrow." 

When the Archduchess Sophia drove out, in fact, 
the common people often surrounded her carriage, 
in order to shout the names of the murdered Hun- 
garians in her ear; and Countess Karolyi, whose 



son had been one of the victims of the repression, 
cursed Francis Joseph in scathing words which seem 
to sum up all the possibilities of human hate : — 

" May Heaven and Hell blast his happi- 
ness ! May his family be exterminated ! 
May he be smitten in the persons of those 
he loves ! May his life be wrecked, and 
may his children be brought to ruin ! " 

A memorable curse truly, and one which one 
might, if one chose, take for the text of this bio- 
graphy, showing how time has brought the fulfilment 
of it, drawing the punishment out slowly, relent- 
lessly, unceasingly. The tragedy of the Square of 
Queretaro, where Francis Joseph's brother faced a 
firing party of Republican executioners ; the tragedy 
of the Vatican, where his sister-in-law lost her 
reason; the tragedy of Meyerling, where his only son 
perished in his shame ; the tragedy of Geneva, where 
his wife was struck down by the dagger of the 
assassin — all these things, and many others also, 
might be represented as so many stages in the un- 
tiring and undeviating march of Nemesis — fulfil- 
ments of the curse, and illustrations of the familiar 
lines ; — 

Raro antecedentem scelestum 
Deseruit pede poena claudo. 

Perhaps; but, if Francis Joseph's punishment was 
to come slowly, that of his instrument, Marshal 
Haynau, was to come quickly. 

The day soon arrived when the Emperor realised 



that he must break his instrument. The butchery 
could not go on for ever, and the butcher — this 
Hyaena of Brescia — could not always be kept in 
evidence. When he had served his purpose, he must 
go. So his command was withdrawn from him ; and 
he retired into private life, and went upon his 
travels. His travels took him to London, whither 
his reputation had preceded him. He called upon 
the banker Rothschild, who gave him an intro- 
duction to the brewers Barclay and Perkins, 
whose brewery he had expressed a desire to "go 

Whether the banker deliberately set a trap 
for a hyaena or merely wished to oblige a 
client remains uncertain, even after a careful 
perusal of the letters of explanation which he sent 
to The Times. What is quite certain is that the dray- 
men employed by Messrs. Barclay and Perkins knew 
that Haynau was coming, knew that he was re- 
sponsible for the public flogging of women, and 
resolved to deal with him accordingly. Hardly 
had the brewery gates closed on him, when a truss 
of straw fell on his head from above, and then the 
trouble began. 

A coherent account of the adventure might be 
difficult to give; but there are certain details of it 
concerning which all the witnesses are agreed. 
Marshal Haynau was beaten with rods, as his 
victims had been beaten, and some of the rods were 
broken across his back. He fled for refuge into 
a dustbin, and was pulled out of it by the beard. 
Somehow or other, he escaped from the brewery 



and ran like a hare down the street; but he 
was caught, knocked over, and dragged along 
the ground by his fierce moustaches. A woman 
threw a pair of scissors out of the window of an 
upper chamber, appealing to the men to cut those 
moustaches off. Ultimately he ran into a public 
house, and there managed to evade his pursuers 
until the police delivered him. 

The story was a nine days' wonder. The Times 
arose in its majesty and rebuked the draymen for 
their presumption in imagining that the misdeeds 
of people of importance were any concern of theirs ; 
and The Times might as well have rebuked a volcano 
for forgetting its dignity and giving way to erup- 
tions. The general sentiment found expression in 
a public meeting — also reported by The Times — 
whereat a vote of thanks to the draymen was carried 
unanimously, and Messrs. Barclay and Perkins 
themselves were warned that, if any one of their 
employees was punished for his part in the transac- 
tion, no British workman, from Land's End to John 
o' Groat's House, would ever again drink a glass 
of Barclay and Perkins's beer. 

Then the writers of popular songs took the 
matter up, and this sort of thing was circulated on 
broad-sheets : — 

There was an Austrian General strong, 

Who flogged the ladies with a thong ; 

He had a beard twelve inches long, 
His name was Marshal Haynau. 

He from his country had to run : 

He loved the knife, the cat, the gun, 

And cruel deeds of late was done 
By this old Marshal Haynau. 


From Barclay's brew-house he did scout; 
The women bawled, the men did shout; 
His hat fell off, and his shirt hung out, 
Oh, poor old Marshal Haynau ! 

At length he found a place to hide, 
All at the George by Bankside, 
But not till they'd well tann'd his hide, — 
Barclay and Perkins's draymen. 

Then for Barclay's men we'll give a cheer. 
May they live long to brew our beer ! 
And from their masters nothing fear, — 
Barclay and Perkins's draymen. 

Nor was it in England only that Marshal Haynau 
was visited by public opprobrium. His offences 
were still remembered, two years afterwards, when 
he ventured to visit Brussels. There also, at the 
Vauxhall Gardens, the police had to protect him 
from the mob; and public opinion did not allow 
the punishment of the women who spat in his face 
in public, hissing at him the word " Hyaena." So 
intensely had the Austrian excesses stirred the in- 
dignation of Europe; and the only way in which 
Francis Joseph was able to express his resentment 
at the rough handling of the butcher who had done 
his dirty work was by refusing to send a representa- 
tive to London to attend the funeral of the Duke 
of Wellington. 



Why Francis Joseph was called "The child of the gallows" 
— His affront to Napoleon III. and its consequences — 
The Bach system and the objections to it — Francis 
Joseph's bonhomie — The attempt on his life — Impres- 
sions formed of him by the King of the Belgians, and 
Lady Westmorland — The story of his romantic mar- 

It is a curious fact that Francis Joseph, who was 
to find the hangman so much work to do, was given, 
at his birth, the nickname of "the child of the 

The story is that his mother, in the later days of 
her confinement, threw the scalding contents of a 
coffee-cup in her husband's face, and declared 
that she could be safely delivered of a child on 
one condition only — that a free pardon were 
granted to some criminal lying under sentence 
of death ; and there was nothing for it but to satisfy 
her whim. The only Austrian subject fulfilling the 
conditions was clearly guilty of the blackest crimes; 
but he was let out of prison, to his amazement, at 
the hysterical request of the Archduchess Sophia, 
whose bowels of compassion then closed, never to 
be reopened. 

6 4 


Assuredly neither she nor anyone else prompted 
her son to compassion when Italy and Hungary lay 
helpless at his feet. The clemency accorded to a 
vulgar criminal was not to be extended to political 
offenders until the heads of all the tallest poppies 
had been cut off for the greater glory of the Habs- 
burgs and their bureaucrats ; and the policy of repres- 
sion enjoyed an illusory success. If the strong hand 
was a bloody hand, the bloody hand was a strong 
hand ; and Austria did not " muddle through " her 
difficulties, but carved her way through them. She 
had nothing as yet to fear from Prussia ; she strode 
with jack-boots through Hungary and northern 
Italy; and the House of Habsburg — bankrupt, but 
with the most effective army in Europe — could once 
more afford to be arrogant. So that we find Francis 
Joseph, as soon as his position was secure, mani- 
festing his family pride by a proposal that 
Napoleon III. should be insulted. 

Napoleon — the triumph of his coup d'etat having 
been confirmed by a plebiscite — had written to his 
royal and imperial cousins to announce his acces- 
sion; and the question arose whether he should be 
welcomed as a member of the family, or snubbed 
as a parvenu intruding in exclusive circles. Should 
he be saluted, according to the time-honoured 
formula, as " Sir and Brother," or should he be re- 
buffed by a cold and contemptuous mode of address? 
Francis Joseph and his advisers favoured the latter 
course. The Emperor, that is to say, who had waded 
to his throne through the blood and slaughter of his 
subjects, despised the Emperor whose subjects had 

65 F 


merely elected him, and proposed to keep him in 
his place by addressing him curtly as " Sir." 

It was to have been a concerted insult, simul- 
taneously administered by the Heads of the Houses 
of Habsburg, Hohenzollern, and Romanoff; and the 
Foreign Ministers of the three countries exchanged 
despatches on the subject. In the end, how- 
ever, only the Romanoff showed the courage 
of his arrogance ; and the Habsburg, after going 
far enough to offend, allowed himself to be in- 
timidated into an appearance of courtesy. But 
Napoleon was not conciliated. He bided his time, 
resolved that the cousin who had devised the affront 
should pay for it. We shall see him presently exact- 
ing payment on the fields of Magenta and Solferino; 
but we must first follow Francis Joseph as he enters 
upon the path of reconstruction at home. It was 
the period in which his personality began to 

He introduced what is called the Bach System 
— Bach being Schwarzenberg's successor in the 
Ministry of the Interior, a bureaucrat, who wanted 
to Germanise everybody and everything, as German 
bureaucrats always do : a process which pleased 
the Czechs and Croats as little as the Hungarians. 
" This is good," chuckled a Hungarian, in con- 
versation with a Croat. ' The Austrians give to 
you as a reward what they give to us as a 
punishment." That, clearly, was a frame of mind 
symptomatic of trouble to come; but two things 
staved off the trouble for the moment. Austria 
was strong, and Francis Joseph was affable, and 



could give the impression that his bonhomie was 
his own and that his severities were his ministers'. 

He travelled about his dominions, making himself 
as pleasant as he could; he released two thousand 
political prisoners, and reduced the sentences of 
others. The mere possibility of such a magnanimous 
act shows how terribly cruel the previous repression 
had been; but the clemency produced a certain 
effect. No doubt Francis Joseph's reception in 
Hungary was, to some extent, stage-managed; 
but it was at least possible to pretend that it had 
been enthusiastic. The fact that he sat his horse 
like a centaur and spoke Hungarian like a native 
produced its effect; and he knew what to ignore, 
and how to turn a compliment. " I have met 
many Hungarians," he said on his return from his 
first journey, "and every one of them was a man 
of heart." It was what the French call le mot de la 
situation] and it helped. 

Another thing which helped was the attempt made 
on his life at about this time by the journeyman 
tailor Libenyi, who tried to stab him in the back of 
the neck while he was walking on the Vienna ram- 
parts, but struck a bone at the base of the skull, 
which turned the edge of the blade. He bore himself 
gallantly on the occasion, making light of the 
wound. " Do not be frightened, dear mother. My 
neck is merely a little stiff," he said to the Arch- 
duchess Sophia. " It is no great matter," he said 
to his officers. " After all, I was in no greater peril 
than my brave soldiers in Italy." These, again, 
were mots de la situation, appealing to the 

67 F 2 


imagination. The Hungarians had a chivalry 
of their own which bade them repudiate the 
dagger as a weapon. Batthyany's widow and 
Karolyi's mother — she who had uttered the curse — 
would no doubt have been equally ready to pray 
God to smite the Emperor, and to thank God for 
sparing him, in order that he might suffer; but the 
Empire as a whole — not the Austrian section of it 
only — saw him as a gallant young man who had 
had a fortunate escape. Deputations came from 
the remotest parts of his dominions to congratulate 

He was making a good impression, too, on 
shrewd observers. Bismarck, then a young man, 
being sent on some mission to him, spoke of 
"the fire of his twenty years joined to the dignity 
and thoughtfulness of a riper age," adding : " Were 
he not an Emperor, he would seem to me almost 
too grave for his years." The King of the Belgians, 
a little later, reported very favourably of him to 
Queen Victoria : — 

" The young Emperor " (he wrote), " I confess I 
like very much, there is much sense and courage in 
his warm blue eye, and it is not without a very 
amiable merriment when there is occasion for it. He 
is slight and very graceful, but even in the melee 
of dancers and Archdukes, he may always be dis- 
tinguished as the Chef. ... He keeps everyone 
in great order without requiring for this an 
outre appearance, merely because he is the 
master, and there is that about him which gives 
authority, and which sometimes those who have ike 



authority cannot succeed in getting accepted or in 
practising. I think he may be severe si V occasion se 
fresente : he has something very muthig. We were 
several times surrounded by people of all classes, 
and he certainly quite at their mercy, but I never saw 
his little muthig expression changed either by being 
pleased or alarmed." 

Lady Westmorland also wrote, at about the same 
time, to Mr. Hood : — 

" I am very much pleased with the young Em- 
peror, and especially with his tender affection for 
his mother, and his tender and respectful manner 
to her. He looks even younger than he is, and is 
not handsome, but has a well-built, active figure and 
a most intelligent and expressive face. He has a 
thoughtful face, and is perfectly unaffected. His 
mother is a very interesting person, and is wrapped 
up in this son, who seems likely to justify the pride 
she takes in him. The father is a very poor creature, 
who cares for nothing but having his leisure un- 

The picture, save for the reference to the inade- 
quate Archduke Francis Charles, is a pleasant 
one. The portrait of Francis Joseph is the 
portrait of a man whose personality was already 
a great asset to his country; not at all the 
portrait of a man who was conscious of having 
been cursed by the woman whose son he had slain, 
and feared that the blows of fate would smite him — 
blow after blow from youth to age — in untiring 
fulfilment of that curse. On the contrary, it is the 
portrait of a fairly strong man who is also a de- 

6 9 


cidedly cheerful man, with a mind conscious of 
rectitude; and no doubt it is accurate as far as 
it goes, for one cannot expect portraits to be pro- 
phetic. But the years were nevertheless to be full 
of trouble : political trouble was soon to strip the 
Habsburgs of treasured territorial possessions ; 
while family troubles were to make their name a 
by-word as that of the most tragic house in Europe. 
The political troubles were to begin with the 
bungling of Austrian policy in connection with 
the Crimean war, when Austria tried to run with 
the hare and hunt with the hounds, and gave 
offence to both. The Tsar, having saved 
Francis Joseph's throne in 1849, now thought 
himself entitled to more gratitude than was 
shown to him. " The two stupidest Kings of 
Poland," he said to Valentine Esterhazy, "were 
John Sobieski and myself"; for both of them 
had helped Austria in her hour of need, and been 
deserted by Austria when they were themselves em- 
barrassed. Austro-Russian enmity in the Near East 
dates from that desertion ; but the desertion was not 
complete enough to gain Austria the compensating 
friendship of France. So that presently, in 1859, 
France would help Sardinia to deprive Austria of 
the province of Lombardy, and Russia would stand 
by, chuckling at her discomfiture. But that, again, 
is an anticipation. 

For the moment, indeed, all seemed well. 
Neither the political troubles nor the family 
troubles were as yet in sight; and it must have ap- 
peared, to any who gave a thought to the matter, 



that the Countess Karolyi had pronounced her curse 
in vain. Francis Joseph was the most eligible parti 
in Europe ; and the time having come for him to seek 
a wife, he was not to have his marriage arranged 
for him by statesmen, to suit their policy, but to 
fall in love, almost as Princes do in fairy tales, in very 
romantic circumstances, though the romance, unlike 
so many of the Habsburg romances, was to be con- 
sonant with Habsburg dignity and self-respect. 

It was not, of course, a Cophetua story. The 
Habsburgs are very fond of imitating King 
Cophetua; but they do so to their disgrace, and at 
their peril. Their names — unless good reason to 
the contrary can be shown — are changed. They 
cease to be Archdukes, become mere Orths or Wul- 
flings, or Burgs, and are bowed, or kicked, as the 
case may be, out of the imperial circle. But a Cin- 
derella story — that is another matter; and the story 
of Francis Joseph's marriage is one of the most 
famous Cinderella stories of modern times. Every 
fresh narrator of it adds some fresh detail, whether 
romantic or picturesque; but the essential facts in 
all the versions of the story are the same. It is 
always a story of a match arranged by a match- 
making mother, and of Prince Charming himself 
taking the matter into his hands at the eleventh 
hour, preferring Cinderella to her sisters, insisting 
upon his own way, and getting it, amid loud popular 

The Archduchess Sophia flattered herself that 
she had settled everything over her son's head. She 
wished to do a good turn to her poor relations — the 



Wittelsbachs, Dukes in Bavaria, and cousins of the 
reigning Bavarian House to which she herself be- 
longed. There was a strain of insanity in the House 
of Bavaria — in both branches of it, in fact — as well 
as in the House of Habsburg; but the Archduchess 
Sophia did not think of that. The eugenists had 
not yet spoken, and she might not have listened to 
them if they had. Insanity, in those days, was re- 
garded — especially in royal circles — as the acci- 
dental misfortune of the individual. ' Tendencies " 
to insanity did not count; and any royal personage 
who was not mad enough to be locked up was 
thought sane enough to be married. Moreover, 
the Bavarian insanity was not, at the moment, very 
pronounced. Ludwig I. was not accounted mad 
because of his subjection to Lola Montez; and the 
vagaries of Ludwig II. and the raving mania of Otto 
still belonged to the future. It seemed to the Arch- 
duchess Sophia as right and reasonable as anything 
could be that the House of Bavaria and the House 
of Habsburg should intermarry yet again. 

She talked the matter over with her cousin, Maxi- 
milian, Duke in Bavaria. He had a daughter, 
Princess Helen, of a suitable age — a very beautiful 
and charming girl ; and it was settled between them 
that Princess Helen should become Empress of 
Austria. She was trained for that position as care- 
fully as Francis Joseph was trained for the position 
of Emperor; and Francis Joseph quite approved of 
the plans which were being made for him — quite 
understood that his dignity limited his choice — quite 
believed that all was being contrived for the best 



by the best of all possible matrimonial agents. It 
was arranged that Princess Helen should be brought 
to Ischl to meet him ; the subsequent announcement 
of his betrothal to her was, as it were, on the order 
of the day. 

He went to Ischl, and met Princess Helen. She 
was very charming, but — still more charming, as 
it seemed to Francis Joseph, was her younger sister, 
Princess Elizabeth : the Cinderella who was kept 
in the background. 

Elizabeth had not been trained for any great 
position. She was only sixteen : a madcap and a 
child of nature — accustomed, in so far as anyone in 
her station might be, to the untrammelled freedom 
of a highlander. She roamed the woods and the 
mountains — though not, as the author of " The 
Martyrdom of an Empress" tells us, with a gun in 
her hand, in pursuit of game. There are stories 
of her playing the zither, at the doors of cottages 
in remote Bavarian valleys, while peasant children 
danced to the music ; and she was strangely beauti- 
ful, with haunting eyes and a wonderful wealth of 
hair. Depths of meaning looked out of those eyes : 
indications of those mysteries of her soul through 
which she was presently to figure as an unfathom- 
able conundrum challenging a curious world. 
Francis Joseph — tall, handsome, blond, blue-eyed, a 
proud soldier and a gallant man, with no mystery or 
semblance of a mystery about him — looked into the 
girl's eyes, and was conquered. 

Elizabeth was not formally presented — it was 
almost by accident that Francis Joseph first saw her. 



He was alone in a room when she entered, in a 
simple white dress, with flowers in her hair, and 
greeted him with a " Good morning, cousin." He 
kept her talking — and, of course, as he was the 
Emperor, she could not possibly run away and leave 
him, however shy she felt — for quite a long time; 
and fie ended by saying that he hoped to resume 
the conversation at dinner, or at the dance which 
was to follow. But Elizabeth feared not. She was 
still "in the schoolroom" — not yet "out" — had 
"nothing to wear." "Still if your Majesty 
insists . . ." she hesitated. " I do insist," said 
Francis Joseph. " Listen ! We'll play a comedy. 
Say nothing to anyone, but dress for the party, and 
come down to it." " But I shall be scolded." 
" No, you won't. I'll see to that — you can trust 

So the comedy was played ; and, of course, when 
the Emperor expressed his pleasure at seeing the 
unexpected guest, the scolding flickered out; 
and, after that, matters progressed at a great 
pace, to the great chagrin, as one cannot doubt, of 
Sister Helen. The Emperor outraged all the pro- 
prieties by dancing half the night with the school- 
girl. When the dance was interrupted for tea to be 
served, he showed her an album containing coloured 
illustrations of the various national costumes worn 
in the eighteen States of Austria. " There," he said. 
"These are my subjects. I wonder if you would 
like them to be your subjects, too." Then they 
danced again ; and when the cotillon came, he pre- 
sented his little Cinderella with a bouquet of edel- 



weiss, gathered with his own hands, with the result 
that everyone except Cinderella herself began to 
suspect that his intentions were serious. 

His Cinderella, indeed, could hardly believe that 
his intentions were serious, even when her mother 
told her so. " What ! Me an Empress ! But I am 
nobody!" she exclaimed sceptically; but she had 
not long to wait before the sense of her importance 
was brought home to her, for at ten o'clock the next 
morning, Francis Joseph's carriage rattled up to the 
door of her hotel. " Is the Princess Elizabeth up ? " 
he asked ; and the reply was that Princess Elizabeth 
had not finished dressing. ' Then I will see the 
Duchess," he said ; and he went up and made his 
formal demand for his Cinderella's hand, with the 
result that, half an hour later, all the members of 
the Imperial family then in Ischl were summoned to 
the little parish church, and there, to the strains of 
the Austrian national anthem, the betrothal was 
solemnly celebrated. His words to his affianced 
bride, as he came out of the church, are said to have 
been : — 

" This is the happiest day of my life. I owe my 
happiness to you, and I thank you for the light which 
you have brought into my life." 

It was very sad, of course, for Sister Helen, who 
afterwards sought consolation — but perhaps failed 
to find it — by marrying the Prince of Thurn and 
Taxis. It was not altogether satisfactory to Duke 
Maximilian, who raised such objections as Laban 
raised when Jacob proposed to marry Rachel and 



leave Leah a spinster. It did not altogether please 
the Archduchess Sophia, who was a masterful 
woman, and would rather have got her own way than 
see her son insist successfully upon his. But it 
was a love match; and that, after all, is the main 
thing in royal as in other marriages. There was no 
need for the Court and Society journalists to rack 
their brains for reasons for describing the union as 
" romantic." It was romantic on the face of it — as 
romantic as anything in any fairy-tale. 

And yet 

And yet, as it proved, things were not exactly what 
they seemed to be ; and that marriage, so romantic- 
ally contrived and concluded, was to be the starting- 
point of tragedies; the beginning — if one is super- 
stitious and takes that view of things — of the fulfil- 
ment of Countess Karolyi's curse. 

7 6 


The failure of the marriage — Difficulty of explaining it — 
The two conflicting personalities — Francis Joseph's 
personality obvious — The Empress Elizabeth's person- 
ality mysterious — Her sympathy with the Hungarians, 
and its political importance — Her confession of melan- 

The failure of a marriage — of a royal marriage 
as of any other — is necessarily wrapped in mystery. 
The full facts are never made known; and one 
always feels that the facts kept secret were prob- 
ably more important than the facts disclosed. 
Moreover, personality — that mysterious thing which 
none of us ever reveals completely to any one ob- 
server — inevitably counts for more than the tangible 
events on which we can lay our fingers. So with this 
marriage of Francis Joseph's. The outcome of it — 
what the world has been allowed to see of its out- 
come — can only be understood, in so far as it is 
intelligible at all, if we examine it in the light of a 
personality which perplexed Europe for a genera- 
tion, perplexing it more and more as years went on. 

Not two personalities, be it observed, but one. 
There are some personalities which fail to create 



an atmosphere of mystery even behind an impene- 
trable screen; and Francis Joseph's personality is of 
that type. One always feels that, beyond what one 
knows of him, there is very little to be known. It 
is characteristic of all the Habsburgs that they 
cannot cross the road without striking an attitude 
which shows us exactly where they stand and what 
they think of things ; and it is easy enough to accept 
the present Emperor as typical of the Habsburgs at 
their best. He comes before us, frank and brave, 
adaptable and affable, but, at the same time, proud 
as Lucifer; infinitely gracious to those who do not 
presume — readily regarded by such as a gallant 
soldier who has grown into a genial old gentleman, 
anxious to make things pleasant for everybody — yet 
seeming, at some crises of his fate, to mistake him- 
self for God, and the Archdukes for the archangels; 
not because they behave as such, but because they 
are Habsburgs and ought to. 

That is a perfectly simple type; one does not 
complicate it when one adds that Francis Joseph 
has always been a punctual observer of Roman 
Catholic ritual, and, taking the metier of Emperor 
seriously, has risen early throughout a long life in 
order to work at it with all the diligence of a 
devoted civil servant. All that — down to and 
including the occasional ceremonial washing of the 
feet of the poor, in imitation of his Master Christ — 
has been the straightforward fulfilment of an intel- 
ligible programme. If Francis Joseph had washed 
the feet of the poor because he had felt that they 
needed washing, and would not otherwise get 



washed, the case would have been different, and 
one would have suspected subtlety in his character. 
But he has only washed them gingerly — after 
servants had seen to it that they were already clean 
— in the manner of an actor aiming at spectacular 
display; and one no more finds anything subtle or 
elusive in that piece of symbolism than in anything 
else that he has done. 

About the Empress, on the other hand, it is im- 
possible to read a page from any pen — whether 
that page be written by an intimate or by a stranger 
— without feeling oneself in the presence of a 
mystery which the most favourably placed 
chroniclers have failed to penetrate. A novelist 
of genius might perhaps have invented her — Mr. 
Maurice Barres, for one, is a little prone to write 
as if he had invented her; but she was not to be 
understood by courtiers, secretaries, and ladies-in- 
waiting. They recite her traits at great length, but 
almost in vain; telling us of her kindnesses, her 
eccentricities, her vanities, but still leaving us at sea 
— puzzled by the melancholy which preceded the 
apparent occasions for melancholy, and by the rest- 
lessness which chased her, like a gadfly, from the 
haunts of men, unless it was that she herself pursued 
— she knew not exactly what — and never found it. 
Countess Marie Larisch seems to have been more in 
her confidence than anyone else; but Countess 
Marie Larisch only saw what she was capable of 
seeing — which assuredly was not all. One may 
admit all Countess Marie Larisch's facts, and yet 
doubt the completeness of her portrait. 



And if Elizabeth's confidante, in so far as she 
had one, did not understand, how was her husband 
— a mere man — a mere soldier — a mere Habsburg 
— to do so? He, being, as the French say, tout 
en dehors, could not possibly comprehend her who 
was tout en dedans. His happiness in marriage — 
as long as he actually was happy in it — must have 
depended on the assumption that his wife was as 
simple and translucent as himself : as simple and 
translucent as Cinderella or the Sleeping Beauty. 
He fell in love with her in that belief, as any other 
gallant young soldier might have done ; and there is 
no doubt whatever that he was very passionately in 
love. "As much in love as any lieutenant in my 
army," was his own way of putting it; and when 
his bride came down the Danube to join him, he 
ran to greet her on her boat before the gangway 
was made secure, and very nearly fell into the 

That, as he did not actually slip in, was an 
auspicious beginning; and it is on record that 
Emperor and Empress and everybody else said, and 
sincerely meant, the right and proper and auspicious 
things. "The bride," said the Austrian people — 
and the Hungarian people too — " is the most beauti- 
ful woman in all Christendom ." " I am glad," 
Elizabeth wrote in the veteran Radetzky's album, 
" that I am about to belong to a country which pos- 
sesses an Emperor who is so great and good, and a 
hero of Radetzky's valour." " Never before," said 
Francis Joseph to O'Donnell — the officer who had 
grappled with the tailor Libenyi, on the day of the 



attempted assassination — " did I feel so grateful to 
you for saving my life, for never before did I 
value my life so much"; and he showed his joy by 
pardoning prisoners and giving 200,000 florins to 
the poor; while the sympathies of the whole people 
followed the young couple when they departed 
on their honeymoon, and gathered edelweiss to- 
gether, like any other honeymooning couple : — 

' The recollection of that April day," wrote a 
witness of the scene, "will never be effaced from 
my mind. The old among us felt themselves young 
again, the sorrowful became glad, the sick forgot 
their pains, and the poor their poverty. All alike 
were eager to see the companion whom the Emperor 
had chosen as the partner of his life. God only knows 
how many tears of joy ran down our cheeks, and 
what ardent prayers were uttered by our lips." 

It is easy to say, in the light of subsequent events, 
that the joy was too bright to last, and that the 
hope arose, only to be overcast; but it is difficult, 
setting superstition aside, to say why it was so, 
though it is not impossible to trace some of the steps 
by which it came to be so. In this exalted house- 
hold two factors which are often seen at work in 
humbler households were presently, though not quite 
immediately, to play their part : a mother-in-law 
and an Egeria. 

The pity was the greater because, from the point 
of view of politics and the dynasty, the Emperor's 
beautiful bride promised to be, and indeed was, an 
asset of great value. The popularity for which he 
had to work hard she achieved without an effort by 

8l G 


the indefinable charm of her youth and loveliness, 
especially among the romantic and chivalrous Hun- 
garians, who had not yet forgiven Francis Joseph 
for the severities of 1849. She had Hungarian 
blood in her veins, though her Hungarian ancestors 
were remote ; and she had no responsibility for the 
atrocities of the repression. On the contrary, she 
made it clear to Hungarians that she sympathised 
with their sufferings and delighted in their country : 
its vast spaces and its heroic patriots, indomitable 
even though conquered. 

Amnesties, as we have seen, attended her arrival 
among them — amnesties which she may or may not 
have inspired, but of which she certainly got all the 
credit. Whatever she was or was not, she was. 
at any rate, tender-hearted and impulsive with the 
impulsiveness of a generous girl who feels instinc- 
tively that all the people who are locked up ought 
to be let out and given a second chance, unless they 
are really dangerous criminals. The Hungarians, 
in consequence, fell in love with her to a man, with 
a passion different from, but more enduring than, her 
husband's ; and one of them — Count Alexander von 
Bertha — wrote of her marriage : — 

" It was the installation on the throne, under the 
segis of beauty and charm, of the guardian angel 
of the Magyars, to whom the young Empress felt 
herself specially attracted by the memory of her 
patron saint who belonged to the House of Arpad." 

The allusion is, of course, to the Empress's name- 
sake, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary; and the senti- 



The Empress Elizabeth of Austria. 


ment stirred by the association bore practical poli- 
tical fruit. It is no depreciation of the work done 
in later years by Deak and Beust to say that their 
task would have been vastly more difficult if Eliza- 
beth had not charmed the spirits of the Hungarians, 
and that it was largely owing to the spell which she 
had thrown upon them that Deak was able to 
announce, when asked to name his terms after the 
disasters of 1866, that Hungary demanded no more 
after Sadowa than she had asked before. 

That was a great achievement — not to be 
made the less of because it was due to no 
conscious statesmanship, but merely came about 
through the idealisation of a beautiful and sym- 
pathetic woman by a childlike and romantic race, 
too long accustomed to be treated as pariahs by 
the domineering Teutons. If the laws of romance 
had governed the business of the world, it would 
have set the seal on the happiness of a marriage 
which had begun so happily; but it seems that, as 
a matter of fact, the happiness had taken wings and 
fled long before Elizabeth's charm had conciliated 
her husband's enemies to this good purpose — long, 
also, before the occurrence of those specially tragic 
events which were to make their reign memorable 
for tragedy. 

At first, no doubt, she showed a naive delight at 
her sudden elevation to imperial dignity. The 
dramatic change in her fortunes appealed to her 
imagination; and it seemed as if all the glories of 
the world were hers. But — vanity of vanities ! 
The years passed — a few years only — and Elizabeth 

S3 G 2 


had learnt the Preacher's lesson. Even then, one 
suspects, the desires which haunted her were vague. 
She did not know exactly what it was that she 
wanted; but she knew only too well that, whatever 
it was, neither her marriage nor her exalted rank 
had given it to her; and we soon begin to hear of 
her long journeys in pursuit of the fugitive shadow, 
and of the mysterious melancholy which had visibly 
settled on her. She was still a young woman when 
she said to a confidante, apropos of what one is left 
to guess : " I feel as if something had died in me."^ 
She was not yet thirty when Countess Marie Larisch 
— a child who had climbed a tree — saw her in 
tears in circumstances which she has graphically 
described : — 

" I nearly fell out of the tree when I recognised 
the Empress, who had apparently given up the idea 
of riding, and was walking quite unattended. . . . 
Elizabeth came slowly to my tree, under which was 
a stone seat. She sat down, clasped her hands in 
a despairing kind of way, and began to cry silently. 
I could see that she was greatly distressed, for her 
face wore a hopeless expression, and occasionally 
a sob shook her. She then wept unrestrainedly, and 
at last I wondered whether I dared attempt to com- 
fort her. I bent down, and as the leaves rustled 
with my sudden movement, the Empress looked up 
and saw me." 

That is, perhaps, the most typical of all the 
pictures of her melancholy, though one could take 
many others from the writings of other chroniclers. 
She told the child she had been crying because her 



little daughter had been unwell during the night, 
but the child did not believe her. She told the child 
not to tell anyone that she had seen her cry, which 
she would hardly have troubled to do if her tears 
had had such a simple source. Some speeches 
attributed to her at other times would seem to 
indicate that she cried sometimes for lost illusions, 
like a child for a broken toy : — 

' The happiness which men seek in sincerity and 
ask from it is controlled by tragic laws. We all 
live on the edge of an abysm of grief and pain, dug 
for us by the falsehood of social morality. That is 
the abysm which separates our actual condition from 
the condition in which we ought to find ourselves. 
An abysm is always an abysm. The moment we 
try to cross it, we fall and break our limbs." 

That is her own confession of melancholy; and 
we must make what we can of it in the light of what 
we know. It is not, perhaps, a melancholy of which 
we shall be able to discover all the causes, but we 
may be able to arrive at some of them. The quest 
will bring us back to certain matters already touched 
upon, and lead us on to other matters. We shall 
have to speak of the Egeria, the mother-in-law, the 
formal rigidity of Court etiquette, and the way in 
which Emperor and Empress endeavoured to escape 
in different directions from what they were both, in 
their several ways, coming to regard as irksome 
imprisoning restraints. 



Francis Joseph's Eg-eria — Elizabeth's mother-in-law — Eliza- 
beth's quarrels with etiquette — The beginnings of 
estrangement — The functions of Countess Marie Larisch 
in the imperial household — Captain " Bay " Middleton — 
Nicholas Esterhazy — Elizabeth's fairy story — Her 
cynical attitude towards life. 

Francis Joseph's Egeria was the Archduchess 
Elizabeth, grandmother of the present King of 
Spain. It has been written that she "set her cap" 
at him; but she was a widow, and it was held that 
a widow was no proper bride for a Habsburg 
Emperor. So she became his Egeria, and a source 
of discord. The Empress could not get on with 
her; nor could the Empress get on with her mother- 

The Archduchess Sophia was jealous to see this 
chit of a child winning the affection of the very 
people by whom she had herself been hooted in the 
streets of Vienna; jealous, too, because the child's 
influence over the Emperor promised to be greater — 
as it was indubitably more salutary — than her own. 
Moreover, she was a woman with many old-fashioned 
prejudices; and she disapproved of Elizabeth, 



pretty much in the way in which Victorian mothers 
disapproved of revolting daughters, and for some- 
what the same reasons. She saw this chit of a child 
— abominably brought up, as it seemed to her, in 
free-and-easy Bavaria — not only chafing under the 
fetters of immemorial etiquette, but actually tossing 
those fetters off with gestures of defiance. War 
between them was inevitable — war not the less 
deadly because it was not openly declared, but was 
waged by means of shuns and slights. Naturally, 
too, while the common people were in favour of the 
Empress, the courtiers of the old school sided with 
the Archduchess. Let us cite a few of the details. 

Just as Marie- Antoinette had once scandalised 
the French Court by riding a donkey, so Eliza- 
beth scandalised the Austrian Court by calling 
for beer — the excellent beer of Munich — and, 
according to some chroniclers, also for sausages, at 
the imperial luncheon table. She scandalised it a 
second time by refusing to throw her shoes away 
after she had worn them once ; a third time by going 
shopping on foot, attended only by a single lady- 
in-waiting; a fourth time by taking off her gloves 
at a banquet at which etiquette prescribed that 
gloves should be worn, and laughing at the regula- 
tion when her attention was called to it. The anec- 
dotes, thus summarised, seem trivial ; but they have 
an inner significance as a record of an embittered 
conflict on that eternal theme : Which are the 
things that matter ? 

For the Archduchess Sophia the things that 
mattered were those rites and ceremonies which 


distinguished Habsburgs from inferior members 
of the human family. Whatever were the things 
that mattered to Elizabeth — and she might have 
found it difficult to say what they were — they cer- 
tainly were not these things. So that her case 
which, at the beginning, recalled the story of Cin- 
derella, comes also to remind us, after the lapse of 
a little time, of the story of that Village Maiden, who 
was wooed and married by the Lord of Burleigh; 
and one thinks of the lines which tell us how 

her gentle mind was such 
That she grew a noble lady, 

And the people loved her much. 
But a trouble weighed upon her, 

And perplex'd her, night and morn, 
With the burthen of an honour 

Unto which she was not born. 
Faint she grew, and ever fainter, 

And she murmured, "Oh, that he 
Were once more that landscape painter, 

Who did win my heart from me ! 
So she droop'd and droop'd before him, 

Fading slowly from his side : 
Three fair children first she bore him, 

Then, before her time, she died. 

Or rather, as Elizabeth herself put in, in the 
quotation from her table-talk already given, some- 
thing died within her. 

Mme. de Boigne, it will be remembered, com- 
menting on the story of the Lord of Burleigh, said 
that the fate of the Village Maiden served her right, 
and was a just and proper vindication of class 
distinctions. The Archduchess Sophia's attitude 
towards Elizabeth was very similar. Just as 
the haughty Windischgraetz laid it down that 



"mankind begins with the baron," so the Arch- 
duchess Sophia would seem to have held that 
mankind began at the confines of the imperial 
circle, and that the traditional manners and tone 
of that circle depended upon first principles and 
universal laws. So she had no sympathy for Vil- 
lage Maidens who set up their own likes and dis- 
likes against the prescriptions of Habsburg ritual. 

Gossip charges her with doing more than scold — 
of throwing a mistress at the head of her son, and 
a lover at the head of her daughter-in-law, in order 
to estrange them from each other; but those who 
knew her declare her to have been too pious a 
woman to engage in such intrigues. Mischief- 
makers are often pious ; and pious people are often 
mischief-makers ; so it may have been so. But 
estrangement nevertheless soon succeeded to 
enthusiasm; and the present writer has the 
word of Countess Marie Larisch for the fact that 
Francis Joseph was the first — whether his mother's 
promptings had any influence in the matter or not — 
to feel that the marriage had not yielded all that had 
been hoped for from it. 

He, at any rate, had felt the coup de foudre. The 
Empress had been too young to feel it, and had 
accepted an offer of marriage very much in the spirit 
in which she would have accepted an invitation to 
a ball. So she was not responsive, for they were 
not born to understand each other; and he, in his 
disappointment — keenly conscious of the very real, 
but impalpable, barrier between them — let his fancy 
stray. Then she, in the course of time, did the 

8 9 


same; with the result that, even at the end of their 
married life, they were " strangers yet," not openly, 
nor even privately, so far as anyone knows, at 
variance, but drifting apart, and each ceasing to take 
an interest in the other's inner life. 

The process had already begun when Countess 
Marie Larisch saw the Empress weeping under a 
tree in the Bavarian Highlands. It had reached a 
further stage when the Empress sent for Countess 
Marie Larisch to live with her and be her confidante, 
and initiated her into her delicate duties at Godollo, 
her Hungarian hunting-box, with the significant 
warning : — 

" Listen, my child. At Godollo there is one 
thing to remember every hour of the day : You must 
not speak of anything which you hear or see, and 
your answers to questions must be ' Yes,' and ' No,' 
or ' I don't know.' " 

The time has since come when it has seemed good 
to Countess Marie Larisch to disregard that injunc- 
tion, in her own defence, and to give the world 
rather a full account — albeit in the form of hints 
and insinuations — of a good many of the things 
which she heard and saw. She had, as she admits, 
her own very definite and somewhat delicate func- 
tions at Godollo; functions with the performance 
of which the Crown Prince Rudolph was, some 
years later, when she quarrelled with him, to re- 
proach her : 

" You are a fine one " (Rudolph was to say) " to 
talk of honour or morality. You have been the go- 



between for my mother since you were a girl. And 
yet you dare to mention morality to me, when you 
have not scrupled to stand by and see my father 

That was the outburst. Of course Countess 
Marie Larisch protested; but the general trend of 
her book shows that the protest was due to anger 
rather than to the indignation of outraged 
innocence. This being the Life, not of the 
Empress, but of the Emperor, there is no need to 
go into the matter at great length ; but some of the 
scenes pictured and some of the facts set forth 
have a symbolic value, which forbids their omission. 
Even before Countess Marie was in attendance — 
as early as Elizabeth's long sojourn in Madeira — 
people seem to have found occasion to talk : — 

"Count Hunyadi " (writes Countess Marie) "was 
one of her suite, and I do not know what actually 
happened, but I do know that the Chamberlain spied 
most effectually on my aunt. The Count was re- 
called to Vienna, and Elizabeth's stay in Madeira 
came to an abrupt conclusion." 

Evidently it was for the purpose of throwing 
dust in the argus eyes of Chamberlains and the like 
that Countess Marie was enlisted in the Empress's 
service. She portrays herself, more than once — 
though always with apparent care not to say either 
too little or too much — in the act of throwing the 
dust. The great occasion was the day on which 
Captain " Bay " Middleton — sometimes called 
William Tell because he was something less than 



a model of reticence — who had been on a visit to 
the Austrian Court, had to say good-bye. Elizabeth 
(Countess Marie tells us) " made no attempt to dis- 
guise her liking" for the celebrated English sports- 
man, whose good looks, athletic prowess, and 
popularity with ladies have furnished the theme of 
many chapters of many volumes of social gossip. 

At all events the Empress's eyes were swollen 
with weeping on the day of Captain Middleton's 
departure ; and the Emperor came to pay a most 
inopportune visit to her apartments at the time when 
the adieux were being said. Elizabeth appealed to 
Countess Marie to find an excuse to keep him out ; 
and Countess Marie's powers of invention did not 
fail her : — 

" I ran forward. ' Who is there ? ' I asked. ' The 
Emperor,' replied a voice; ' can I come in? ' ' Oh, 
Majestat,' I stammered, ' how unfortunate that Aunt 
Cissi is not able to see you ! She is trying on some 
riding habits.' ' Oh, then I'll return later,' answered 
Francis Joseph, and I heard the sound of his re- 
treating footsteps in the corridor." 

Whereupon Countess Marie was congratulated by 
the Empress on "unusual tact "; and we encounter, 
a few pages further on, the following significant 
paragraph : — 

" The Emperor's rooms were far away from Aunt 
Cissi's, and her doors were always guarded by 
soldiers. Francis Joseph, who was very much in 
love with his wife, was often kept at a distance when 
Elizabeth's love of solitude obsessed her, and then 



she was never seen by anyone except the members 
of her immediate entourage?' 

Another passage of a different kind of signifi- 
cance is that in which Countess Marie tells us how 
she herself received a proposal of marriage from 
Count Nicholas Esterhazy, and informed the Em- 
press, and subsequently was visited by the Empress 
in her bedroom at the dead of night : — 

" Elizabeth was all in white ; her hair was wrapped 
about her like a heavy mantle, and her eyes shone 
like a panther's; in fact, she seemed so strange 
that I was quite frightened, and waited, trembling, 
for her to speak. 

" ' Are you awake, Marie ? ' 

" ' Yes, Aunt Cissi/ 
' Well, sit up and listen to what I have to say/ 

" I sat up obediently, and she continued in cold, 
decisive tones : 

1 It is my duty to tell you that Count Esterhazy 
has a liaison with a married woman, who loves him. 
After hearing this, will you accept his proposal?' 

What Countess Marie means us to think is clear 
enough, though she does not tell us; and equally 
clear is the inner meaning of that Fairy Story which 
she says that the Empress told her by the side of a 
mountain tarn at Possenhofen. Countess Marie's 
reviewers, occupied mainly with her new facts about 
the Meyerling tragedy, seem to have thought that 
Fairy Story unworthy of comment; but when one 
comes to read it carefully, one finds it a consummate 
example of the art of conveying a suggestion with- 



out making a definite statement. Observe : it is 
Elizabeth who is represented as speaking : — 

" Once there was an unhappy young Queen, who 
had married a King who ruled over two countries. 
They had one son, but they wanted another to 
succeed to the other kingdom, which was a lovely 
land of mountains and forests, where the people 
were romantic and high-spirited. No child came, 
and the young Queen used to wander alone in the 
woods, and sit by just such another lake. One day 
she suddenly saw the still surface move, the lilies 
parted, and then a handsome man appeared, who 
swam towards her, and presently stood by her side." 

And now let us see how the dots drop by them- 
selves on to the i's. Austro-Hungary is known to 
all of us as "the dual monarchy "; and Hungary — 
or a portion of it — is justly described as "a lovely- 
land of mountains and forests." Elizabeth bore 
only one son — the Crown Prince Rudolph. The 
date of Prince Rudolph's birth was 1858; and, for 
a period of ten years, Elizabeth had no other child. 
Those indications given, we return to our Fairy 

It relates how the stranger — who announced him- 
self as " the spirit of the lake " — carried the young 
Queen down " a crystal staircase " to a mysterious 
palace, where she "sat beside her lover on his 
crystal throne, and slept in his arms on a bed of 
lily leaves," but afterwards " returned to the King's 
palace"; and so we are led along the paths of 
poetry and fantasy to this conclusion : — 



" Some months passed, and the Queen knew that 
she would have a child, and she longed for a son 
like the Water Spirit, who would reign over the 
romantic country of mountains and forests which 
she loved. 

" But no son came, for when the child was born, 
the young Queen pressed to her heart a little 
daughter, with her Fairy father's large black eyes. 

1 Did she ever see him again/ I asked, much 

' I do not think so, 5 replied the Empress, ' when 
you have more experience of the world you will 
realise that a baby is the end of many love-affairs.' 

'What did the King say?' I queried. 

' He had too much vanity to say anything, what- 
ever he may have suspected,' said Elizabeth; she 
laughed her mocking laugh, and was her cynical 
self again." 

All this, Countess Marie would have us think, 
is an allegory; but it is safer to leave the veil 
hanging over the facts, or alleged facts, which she 
means it to allegorise. Fairy Stories are not 
evidence — least of all when one only gets them, as 
in this case, at second hand ; but, if this Fairy 
Story cannot be trusted for facts, at least it can be 
trusted for atmosphere, and both Elizabeth's and 
Francis Joseph's attitudes towards life seem to be 
displayed in it. 

Of his attitude we will speak at the appropriate 
time; hers strikes one as that of a woman who 
could not escape from her emotions and her 
longings, and yet never got any lasting satisfaction 
from the indulgence of them. Her life, on its senti- 



mental side, one feels, was not continuous but 
episodical ; not an epic poem, nor even a drama, 
but a series of short stories, — each of them ending, 
as Guy be Maupassant's short stories so often do, 
in anti-climax. Hence the importance which she 
attached — and Countess Marie accumulates details 
about that — to the preservation of her beauty; for 
the dwindling of beauty necessarily made those 
"beginnings" which Mme. de Stael tells us "are 
always happy," more difficult. Hence also those 
frequent journeys, apparently so meaningless, which 
give one the impression, not of a cultivated tourist 
eager to see the world, but of a shadow pursuing 
shadows, and brought to melancholy by the repeated 
failure to capture and hold them, and then con- 
tinuing to travel as a means of escape from herself. 
Countess Marie quotes a speech which indicates that 
mood : — 

" Marie, sometimes I believe that I'm enchanted, 
and that after my death I shall turn into a seagull 
and live on the great spaces of the ocean, or shel- 
tered in the crevice of some frowning rock; then I, 
the fettered Elizabeth, shall be free at last, for my 
soul shall have known the way of escape." 

Hence, again, the superstition which led her to 
consult fortune-tellers, and look for omens in 
glasses of water. Hence finally that cynicism 
already remarked, and further exemplified in 
another speech which Countess Marie reports :- 

"What / do not mind doing, nobody else need 
cavil at," she often said. "Love is no sin," she 


The Countess Marie Larisch at the time of her marriage, 


would remark. "God created love, and morality 
is entirely a question for oneself. So long as you 
do not hurt anyone else through love, no one ought 
to presume to judge you." 

There shall be no attempt to judge her here; the 
attempt is only to portray. 

A good deal would have to be added to make the 
portrait complete; not merely those details of the 
toilette which Countess Marie gives in such abun- 
dance; not merely particulars of the daring horse- 
woman's delight in the tricks of the haute Scole — a 
delight so intense that Elizabeth once followed the 
circus-rider Elisa to Paris, and brought her back to 
Austria, paying the forfeit on her broken engage- 
ment; but facts which show her compassion 
with the sufferings of humanity. Sustained philan- 
thropic endeavour was not, indeed, much in her 
way; but she was easily stirred to those elans of 
sympathy which are far more effective than sys- 
tematic philanthropy in winning the hearts of the 
humble. When she visited the hospitals after 
Sadowa, the wounded blessed her on their death- 

Still, these facts, though necessary to complete- 
ness, are not of the essence of the portrait. The 
essence of the picture lies in Elizabeth's unavailing 
pursuit of happiness, and her unavailing flight from 
herself — on horseback as long as her health let her 
ride, and always with a volume of Heine's poems 
in her pocket. It was not, perhaps, a very sane 
proceeding,; but she came, as we know, of a family 
which was not very sane. One of her sisters — the 

97 h 


Duchesse d'Alencon — was for some time under 
observation in a private asylum at Graetz, known 
as le rendezvous des Princes, on account of the 
number of its royal inmates; and the sister whom 
Francis Joseph jilted in order to marry her, became, 
as Princess of Thurn and Taxis, a victim of 
religious mania. Her own eccentricities must not 
be estimated without reference to these facts. 

Estimate them as we may, however, one thing is 
certain. Between Elizabeth, with her fancies and 
vague cravings for she knew not exactly what, and 
Francis Joseph, with his direct, straightforward, 
soldierly outlook on life, no enduring bond of sym- 
pathy was possible. Fate forbade it, and ordained 
that they should drift apart; and Fate had its way 
with its playthings. How Francis Joseph's fancy 
strayed — and how Elizabeth, instead of opposing 
its divagations, encouraged them — we shall see in 
the course of a few pages. 



" The Martyrdom of an Empress " — Correction of inaccura- 
cies contained in that popular work — Francis Joseph's 
friends — "A Polish Countess" — Frau Katti Schratt — 
Enduring attachment — Rumour of morganatic marriage 
— Interview with Frau Schratt on that subject — 
"Darby and Joan." 

Of the many Lives of the Empress Elizabeth 
the most widely circulated has been the one entitled 
' The Martyrdom of an Empress " — a work which 
purports to give an authoritative "inside" view of 
the Habsburg Court. Even M. Jacques La Faye, 
the author of the very latest of the Lives, appears 
to have accepted it as a source of trustworthy 
information. The writer, who is known in 
America as a journalist, and implies that she was 
on terms of intimacy with the Empress, has 
doubtless raked together a good deal of floating 
Viennese gossip, but she nevertheless makes, on 
nearly every page, statements which it is hard to 
believe that she would have made if she had ever 
conversed with Elizabeth, or even been in the same 
room with her. 

A copy of " The Martyrdom of an Empress/' 

99 H 2 


annotated in pencil by a lady once attached to the 
Austrian Court, is now lying on the writer's table. 
" To read this book," runs the first note, " is a 
martyrdom for one who knows"; and corrections 
of points of detail follow quickly — corrections, 
in many cases, of statements of little importance in 
themselves, but none the less completely destruc- 
tive of the claim of the writer corrected to have 
studied the life of the Hofburg, or even of Godollo, 
from within. The Empress's eyes, according to 
the author of " The Martyrdom of an Empress," 
were " glorious dark blue orbs " — or, in another 
passage, "luminous sapphire-hued " : her eyes were 
actually brown. The Empress, according to the 
same authority, stamped "her little foot"; she 
actually had large feet, as became an energetic 
pedestrian, and is reputed to have been very jealous 
of the tiny feet of that rival beauty, the Empress 
Eugenie. Bismarck's reptile Press, at one time, 
derided her for the size of her feet. 

And so forth. A few further passages of text, 
with the annotator's gloss appended to each of 
them, will most effectually show the claim to inside 
knowledge evaporating under the incisive examina- 
tion of one whose knowledge was really acquired 
inside : — 

Author: "The Duke (in Bavaria) was by no 
means a wealthy man, and all his disposable means 
were lavished upon the education of his older 

Commentator : " There was only one older 
daughter, Helen, Princess of Thurn and Taxis." 



Author : " She hunted and shot with her 

Commentator : " The Empress never took a gun 
in her hand — never touched one." 

Author : " All her love became centred upon 
little Archduchess Gisela, who had made her 
appearance in the world in 1856." 

Commentator : " She never looked at the baby, 
and Archduchess Sophia took care of it." 

Author : " A very unpalatable adventure of 
which her husband was the hero . . . broke the last 
restraint upon her indignation, and, without inform- 
ing anybody of her intentions, she hurriedly left the 
imperial palace of Vienna for Trieste, and set sail 
for the Ionian Islands on board her yacht, fully 
resolved never to allow her husband to approach her 
or to speak to her again." 

Commentator : " She had no yacht of her own 
at that time, and travelled with the consent of the 
Emperor. Her brother accompanied her to Trieste." 

Author : " In the summer following Baby 
Valerie's birth, the Empress spent several months 
with the Crown Prince and his two sisters." 

Commentator: "Baby Valerie was quite 
separated from the others, the Empress being 
very jealous about Valerie. Gisela and Rudolph 
were mostly kept in Laxenburg." 

Author : " Elizabeth walked over to a large 
harmonium which stood near the open window. She 
sat down before it, and after striking a few chords 
which echoed through the stillness of the chamber, 
she sang Schubert's ' Serenade.' She was a great 




Commentator : " The Empress never touched a 
harmonium nor a piano. She was not a bit musical, 
and never sang." 

Author : " ' Rudi,' who was watching them, said 
suddenly " 

Commentator : " The Crown Prince was never 
called ' Rudi/ always ' Rudolph.' His pet name 
was 'Nazi.'" 

Author : " ' Mutzerl,' as Baby Valerie was 
called " 

Commentator : " Valerie was never called 
' Mutzerl,' but ' Shedvesen,' by her mother. It 
means ' darling.' " 

Author : " Valerie . . . swam like an otter, rode 
almost as well as her mother, fenced and shot with 
great skill." 

Commentator : " Valerie never learnt to ride, as 
the Empress would not allow it, and never fenced 
or shot." 

Author : " She was riding alone on that day." 
Commentator : " The Empress never went out 
riding alone." 

Author : " ' My poor boy ! my poor boy ! ' she 
kept repeating. ' I am afraid you do not realise 
what misery such a marriage as that which you are 
about to make can bring about ! ' 

Commentator : " To me the Empress said. ' Let 
him marry whom he likes. I don't mix myself up 
in Rudolph's affairs.'" 

Author-: " That Rudolph met Marie Vetsera 
and her mother in London and called upon them 
several times is quite certain." 



Commentator : " Rudolph never met the Vet- 
seras in London." 

Author : " Mademoiselle Ferenzy read to her 
from English, French, and Hungarian books." 

Commentator : " Mademoiselle Ferenzy could 
only read Hungarian." 

That may suffice ; but any reader who has skipped 
the quotations should turn back to them. They may 
not matter very much in themselves — except to those 
to whom everything connected with royalty matters ; 
but they do show us. how Court history is sometimes 
written by journalists, and what is the historical value 
of the " revelations " of anonymous pretenders to the 
intimacy of Sovereigns. It was worth while, as the 
opportunity offered, to elaborate the demonstration, 
because the book containing the statements confuted 
— together with many others of an equally untrust- 
worthy character — was for a time accepted as 
authoritative by the readers of two continents, and 
passed through several editions, on the assumption 
that it presented the authentic depositions of one 
who had really been behind the scenes. 

The author was, in fact, so little behind the scenes 
— and so little qualified in other respects for her 
task — that she did not even know her way through 
the Almanach de Gotha, or remember elementary 
facts which anyone without special sources of 
information could easily ascertain. She places the 
scene of the imperial betrothal at Possenhofen, 
whereas it actually occurred at Ischl ; and she states 
that the Empress was not of " royal " birth, whereas 



she was the granddaughter of a King. These things 
being so, it obviously is not to her writings that one 
must turn for details of the secret history of the 
estrangement between the Empress and the Em- 
peror. That secret history, in so far as the 
Emperor's flirtations are concerned, would not, in 
the opinion of those who are nearest to knowing it, 
make a very startling tale even if one could know 
it all. 

It is not the rule, of course, for Emperors in 
the prime of life, estranged from their consorts, 
to deny themselves, on principle, all alternative 
attachments ; and there is no reason to suppose that 
Francis Joseph did so. But his volatility was only 
comparative, and did not last long. The witnesses 
who attest the volatility also assure us that, taking 
his imperial grandeur as seriously as it deserved to 
be taken, he soon "settled down" and became, in 
the language of less exalted circles, " steady." 
There was a certain Polish Countess; but that is 
too old and unimportant a story to be revived. The 
one lady whose name it is imperative to mention in 
connection with this branch of the subject is, of 
course, Frau Katti Schratt; and the circumstances in 
which the Emperor made Frau Schratt's acquaint- 
ance shed an illuminating light upon the terms on 
which he and the Empress came to live. 

It was in 1885, when the Empress was about to 
depart upon one of her frequent journeys. " Her 
kind heart," writes Countess Marie Larisch, " re- 
proached her when she thought that her husband 
would perhaps be lonely during her absence." So 



she inquired whether any of the ladies about her 
knew of any other lady who would be willing to 
"entertain" the Emperor while she was away, but 
could be trusted not to exercise any undue influence 
over him : — 

" I mentioned several ladies " (Countess Marie 
continues) "who, I felt sure, would only be too 
delighted to console the imperial grass widower, 
but Aunt Cissi did not approve of them, and the 
matter dropped until she suddenly told me one day 
that she had discovered the right person in the 
actress Katrina Schratt, who was always considered 
to be more interesting off the Burg Theatre than 
on it. . . . People rather disapproved of Eliza- 
beth's attitude, but she was quite right in thinking 
well of the actress, who has, since the death of my 
aunt, proved herself to be a devoted friend to 
Francis Joseph." 

That, assuredly, sounds as improbable as anything 
in " The Martyrdom of an Empress." An Empress 
sallying into the highways and byways to seek a 
guardian angel for the Emperor, and finally extract- 
ing one from the coulisses, and presenting her, with 
the result that she becomes the friend of the family 
as well as the Emperor, and the Emperor takes a 
continual delight in her society for thirty years — 
that, indeed, is an amazing picture, not to be ac- 
cepted, even on Countess Marie Larisch's authority, 
without corroborative evidence. But the story 
seems, nevertheless, to be literally true. The 
corroborative testimony is available, and shall 
be produced. 



In the main, indeed, the Emperor's attachment is 
as notorious as his marriage, and stands in as little 
need of proof. Frau Schratt at once became, and has 
ever since remained, a national institution — related 
to Court circles, though not exactly of them. It 
became the recognised thing that, when the Emperor 
went to Ischl, she should go to Ischl too; that she 
should have a cottage there, and that the Emperor 
should take tea at that cottage daily — entertained by 
Frau Schratt, but not by her husband, of whom one 
hears little, though it is understood that he was 
given an appointment which kept him usefully and 
profitably occupied at a distance from the tea- 

Nor was it at tea-time only that Francis Joseph 
was to be heard of at Frau Schratt's domicile. He 
was occasionally an evening visitor as well ; and 
one of his evening visits concluded with a dramatic 
incident. He had stayed into the small hours, and 
desired, in consideration for the feelings of others, 
to depart without disturbing the household. Being 
unaccustomed, however, to stealthy movements, he 
stumbled over the furniture and disturbed the cook, 
who, suspecting that a burglar had intruded, came 
courageously downstairs, attired in her nightgown, 
and carrying a bedroom candle. Her impulse was 
to scream, but Francis Joseph checked it. " Don't 
you see that I'm the Emperor, you silly woman ? " 
he said in a stage whisper. Whereupon the cook, 
profoundly loyal, but not knowing exactly what 
course of conduct a manual of etiquette would 
prescribe in the situation, fell on her knees 

1 06 


at her Sovereign's feet, and began to sing at 
the top of her voice.: Gott erhalte Franz den 

Such was life in the early days of this interest- 
ing relationship, which settled down, as the years 
passed, into a very peaceable and comfortable 
domestic alliance. That there have never been any 
unfavourable comments is more, of course, than can 
truthfully be said. Rebellious members of the 
House of Habsburg, anxious to go their own 
amorous ways without reference to the Habsburg 
rules, have sometimes felt that the state of the 
affections of the head of the house gave them a 
handle, and have sometimes pulled that handle. If 
the Emperor flaunted his attachment to Frau 
Schratt, why should not the Archduke Leopold 
permit himself to love Fraulein Adamovics, and the 
Archduke John permit himself to love Fraulein 
Stiibel — these ladies, at any rate, not being married 
women? So they have argued; and the former 
Archduke once, on a very dramatic occasion, 
brought the vials of the Emperor's wrath down 
upon his head by calling him " Herr Schratt" to 
his face. 

But Francis Joseph, being a strong man and a 
loyal friend, was not to be moved by such affronts, 
or turned from the path which he chose to pursue, 
by the fear of scandal ; and presently there was a 
battle royal on the subject in the House of Habs- 
burg. The Emperor's daughters — the Arch- 
duchesses Valerie and Gisela — expressed them- 
selves as scandalised and shocked, and conceived it 



to be their duty to wean their aged father, who was 
now more than seventy years of age, from the society 
which gave him so much pleasure. They so far 
succeeded that Frau Schratt left Ischl in a hurry 
for Brussels, and a wag braved the perils of lese- 
majesle by inserting in the "agony colum" of the 
Neue Freie Presse an advertisement in conspicuous 
type, running : Katti, come back to your sorrowing 

And she came back, albeit by a circuitous route, 
honourably attended, and in triumph. The first hint 
that she was about to do so appeared as exclusive 
information in the Paris Siecle : — 

" Everyone in Austria knows of the affectionate 
relations which bind Frau Schratt, formerly of the 
Burg Theatre, to the Imperial Family. Some time 
ago Vienna learned with surprise that she was about 
to retire, and make a journey from Bavaria that 
would end in Rome. The journals soon after 
announced that she had come back from Rome, and 
that the Pope had given her a lasting benediction. 
Now it appears, though the affair is not yet wholly 
unveiled, that the Pope not only vouchsafed to 
Frau Schratt, who was accompanied by the Comtesse 
de Trani, sister of the late Empress, a paternal 
reception, but even yielded to pressing instances, 
supported by diplomatic action, in granting her 
prayer to declare the nullity of her marriage with 
Baron Kisch, by whom she has a son." 

Rumour added that these proceedings were only 
preliminary to the celebration of a morganatic 
marriage between the Emperor and the actress; 

1 08 


morganatic marriages being, as is well known, con- 
trivances for reconciling the human passion which 
over-rides the barriers of rank with that family pride 
which does not over-ride them. But rumour, for 
once, was wrong. A Berlin paper — the Lokal 
Anzeiger — sent its representative to ascertain what 
Frau Schratt had to say on the subject; and Frau 
Schratt opened her heart freely to the reporter, and, 
in doing so, supplied the confirmation of the story 
which we have quoted, with provisional scepticism, 
from Countess Marie Larisch. All this talk about 
her marriage with the Emperor, she said, was 
" nonsense." Those who engaged in such talk 
knew neither her nor the Emperor. And then 
came the allusion, for which we have been 
looking, to the part played in the matter by the 
Empress : — 

' That high-minded and noble lady was my most 
gracious patroness and friend. In the unrest caused 
by the mental and bodily pains which drove her 
from one place to another, it was a comfort to her 
to know that a good-tempered, light-hearted 
woman cheered up her husband, and gave him many 
a pleasant, harmless hour by chatting with him and 
relating all sorts of anecdotes and stories ; attending 
him in his morning walks in the Schonbrunn 
Gardens whilst he was taking his Carlsbad water, 
and never abusing her extraordinary position for 
intrigues or to push proteges. It was the Empress 
herself who, hating the stiff Court life and Court 
dignitaries and ladies-in-waiting, had created my 
position, which I then maintained owing to the 
gracious confidence and gratitude of the Emperor. 



Every spring I was the first to bring the late 
Empress, wherever she was staying, the first violets, 
and I always spent a few days with her. An 
Empress, however magnanimous and high-minded 
she may be, remains in certain questions above 
everything a woman. And is it, therefore, really 
possible to believe that the Empress would have 
honoured me with her grace and confidence in such 
an extraordinary way if even the possibility had 
existed in her thoughts that, after her death, I might 
marry the Emperor?" 

It is really a remarkable interview. One is not, of 
course, entitled to say that the whole of Mme. Katti 
Schratt's soul is revealed in it. One may take the 
liberty of doubting whether her respect for the 
memory of her friend, the Empress, was the sole 
reason why the proposed morganatic marriage was 
not concluded. There must also have been repre- 
sentations from many quarters — from the Emperor's 
Ministers as well as from his daughters — that while 
such a marriage would cause a public and family 
scandal, it would hardly, in the circumstances, add 
anything appreciable to the happiness and privileges 
of either party. On that point one is certainly 
entitled to prefer one's own judgment to the lady's 
account of the self-denying ordinance. But Frau 
Schratt's tacit assumption that the society of 
frivolous actresses is, of all kinds of society, the 
most agreeable to men, is a very delightful trait, 
and, though not a universal truth, does appear to 
have been supported by the facts of the particular 
case she was discussing. The assumption, too, that 



she was, naturally and necessarily, a good deal more 
to the Emperor than the Emperor could ever hope 
to be to her, is a pleasing example of the proper 
pride of the ladies who achieve distinction on the 
stage and leave it because they are even more admir- 
able off the stage than on it. 

On the episode of the divorce — and perhaps even 
on the whole story — a stern, unbending moralist 
might have something to say. Such a one might 
even contend that the Pope himself does not come 
out of the story very well. But then Popes have 
almost invariably, throughout the course of history, 
proceeded on the assumption that the ordinary rules 
of morality may properly be waived in favour of 
Catholic potentates; and a distinguished French 
moralist has laid down the rule that a liaison may 
acquire the dignity of marriage if it lasts long 

And this particular alliance has certainly endured 
for an extraordinary length of time. It still endures 
at the time at which these lines are written; and 
when one contemplates it, one finds oneself thinking, 
not of frivolous gallantries or passionate romances, 
but of domestic idylls, such as those of Darby and 
Joan, Philemon and Baucis, and John Anderson, 
my Jo. 

One does not know, of course, whether Frau 
Katti Schratt ever, at any of her tete-a-tete tea- 
parties, sings the Emperor the sentimental ballads 
which consecrate those legends, but there is no 
reason why she should not — unless it be that she 
does not know them — and there are many reasons 



why she should. An unruffled fidelity extending 
over a period of nearly thirty years, and lasting 
until extreme old age, has surely earned both him 
and her a full title to the enjoyment of the emotions 
which they express. 



Francis Joseph's passion for field sports — Enthusiasm of a 
nation of sportsmen for a sportsman Emperor — Anec- 
dotes of sport — Estrangement of the Emperor and the 
Empress — The Empress's departure for Madeira — Her 
wanderjahre — Her attitude towards life — The keeping 
up of appearances. 

It seemed better to defy chronology, and speak 
of Frau Schratt at once. We do not want her con- 
tinually flitting across the stage, to the interruption of 
grave historical discourses ; but we do want to realise 
that she is there — a fixed domestic institution, bring- 
ing Francis Joseph, in a sense, into line even with 
the Habsburgs whose vagaries have caused him 
consternation. If she had predecessors, she has 
had no rivals; and no story arises out of the in- 
vitations to the imperial alcove of which certain 
other theatrical ladies used to boast in the earlier 
years of the reign. We will leave those matters, 
therefore, and next give the necessary passing 
glance at the Emperor's notorious passion for 
field sports — a passion which has contributed more 
than a little towards his popularity. 

It often is so; such tastes being held to contribute 

113 1 


the touch of nature which makes the whole world 
kin, and the belief that a good shot is sure to be 
a good fellow being deeply rooted in the human 
breast — especially if the sportsman respects the 
rights of property, and compensates agriculturists 
for damage done in the pursuit of game. To some 
extent, indeed, the mere fact that an Emperor does 
not go shooting in his crown and royal robes, but 
in a costume similar to that worn by the peasants 
themselves, conveys to the bucolic mind a pleasant 
impression of condescending affability. Moreover, 
rustics like to be employed as beaters, and enjoy 
hearing and handing on stories of imperial sportsmen 
wandering, and losing themselves, and being mis- 
taken for other people, and keeping up the illusion, 
and laughing at the mistake. 

There has been a good deal of that sort of thing 
in Francis Joseph's reign; and his most popular 
portraits are those which exhibit him, alike as a 
young man, an old man, and a man of middle age, 
attired in knickerbockers, heavily nailed boots, and 
a picturesquely plumed Tyrolese hat. A certain 
rapport seems to be established by those portraits 
between a sportsman Emperor and a nation of 
sportsmen. Habited in the costume indicated, 
Francis Joseph has sometimes in the mountains, 
and even in his own parks, played the part of 
Haroun-al-Raschid ; and many anecdotes are 
told about his adventures in that character. 

Not all of them, of course, are true; and we 
will hope that the more malicious stories are false. 
The story, for instance, that Francis Joseph, taking 



part in a battue in the midst of the troubles of 1866, 
asked an aged peasant for a light for his pipe, and 
was told the aged peasant's candid opinion of Em- 
perors who amused themselves by pursuing game 
when their subjects were dying for them on the 
stricken field, is probably the invention of a political 
malcontent. A more agreeable story — and one at 
which the Emperor himself may chuckle — is that of 
his encounter with the farmer who took him for an 
ordinary trespasser and threatened that, if he did 
not clear off his land at once, he would first shoot 
him in the posterior parts as a mark of identifica- 
tion and then inform the police; and he is, no 
doubt, as pleased as his people are to remember 
how he once arrested poachers with his own hand 
in one of his own parks, and having satisfied himself 
of the truth of their representation that they were 
honest old soldiers who had come to poverty through 
no fault of their own, gave orders that they should 
be given appointments as gamekeepers. A ruler 
of whom stories of that last kind are told never fails 
to be popular with the sporting classes of the com- 
munity; and the parade of gamekeepers from all 
parts of the Empire, which was one of the most 
picturesque features of Francis Joseph's Jubilee cele- 
brations, impresses one as a most proper sequel 
thereto. These stories, however, though necessary 
to atmosphere, are only incidental. It is enough to 
glance at them, just as it is enough to glance at 
the story of those world-wide wanderings of the 
Empress which began, long before she had pro- 
vided Frau Schratt to "entertain" the Emperor 

115 1 2 


during her absence, with her sudden departure for 
Madeira, in i860. 

Legend has crystallised round that departure : it 
has been called a " flight," and attributed to the 
cumulative effect of three distinct domestic disturb- 
ances. First of all, we are told, there was a dis- 
turbance caused by the terrible Archduchess Sophia, 
who would not allow the Empress to bring up the 
infant Crown Prince in her own way : a trouble 
which may have been bitter at the time, in spite of 
Countess Marie Larisch's assurance that the matter 
presently became one of absolute indifference to 
her. In the second place, we are informed, there 
was a disturbance because Francis Joseph made too 
public a display of his affectionate regard for a 
certain Fraulein Roll, of one of the Viennese 
theatres; and finally, if the reports may be trusted, 
the quarrel reached its climax because Francis 
Joseph suffered himself to be fascinated by a peasant 
girl whom he met when out shooting. 

Francis Joseph, on that occasion, according to the 
story which was current, stayed out all night after 
dismissing his retainers; and one of the retainers 
told his wife what had happened; and the lady 
repeated the story to other ladies of the Court at 
one of Elizabeth's receptions; and Elizabeth over- 
heard, and acted on the impulse of the moment. 
She dismissed her ladies, and called her maid, 
announcing her intention of setting out at once, 
secretly, for a long journey. The maid did her 
bidding; and she got as far as Trieste, where a 
functionary, sent in pursuit, overtook her and in- 



duced her to return — a course to which she con- 
sented only on the understanding that, after appear- 
ances had been saved, she should be allowed to set 
out again, with the Emperor's express approval. 

Whether things really happened just like that; 
whether it is true that the flight was only hindered 
by the discretion of the captain of the yacht, who 
opportunely discovered that his engines were out 
of repair; whether it is also true that Francis Joseph 
threw himself at Elizabeth's feet, confessing his 
fault, imploring her pardon, and ascribing the 
blame to his mother — all these are points on which 
a conscientious investigator would hesitate to commit 
himself. The story — given in M. Weindel's 
Francois- fosepk Intime — is more than fifty years 
old ; and no authoritative correspondence or froces 
verbal relating to it has been published. All that 
is positively established is that the doctor was called 
in, and certified that Elizabeth was suffering from 
a pulmonary weakness which necessitated her re- 
moval to a warmer climate. So she set out for 
Madeira; and Francis Joseph accompanied her a 
part of the way. How she left Madeira in a hurry, 
in consequence of reports sent home concerning her 
manner of life there, has already been set forth on 
the authority of Countess Marie Larisch. 

That was the beginning of her wander jahre ; and 
there was to be no end to them until her death. 
Elizabeth had learnt the importance of keeping up 
appearances; and she did not forget it. Francis 
Joseph did not need to learn it; for he has always 
stood out among the backsliding Habsburgs as a 



great actor-manager, so to say, keeping up the im- 
perilled dignity of the House by playing a great 
part on a great stage in a manner worthy of the great 
traditions to which so many members of his family 
have proved unfaithful. Noblesse oblige has been 
his motto, though not theirs — though he may only 
have given it a limited, spectacular application; 
and, if Elizabeth did not meet him half way in the 
matter, at least she went a part of the way to meet 

The result is known. On great ceremonial occa- 
sions Elizabeth consented to appear, as she put it, 
" in harness," and performed imperial functions with 
splendid, though perhaps absent-minded, dignity. 
She was as beautiful as the Empress Eugenie. She 
had a grander — a less skittish — manner; and she 
quite understood that the frame in which her beauty 
and grandeur were set at Schonbrunn and the Hof- 
burg threw a halo of glory about her head, quite 
different from that which adorned the rival beauty 
who was Queen of the Revels at the Tuileries, Fon- 
tainebleau, Saint-Cloud, and Compiegne. But she 
w T as, nevertheless, always glad when the functions 
were over and the harness could be taken off. She 
was like Little Nell's grandfather, whose one desire 
was to be " further away." She never lost that im- 
pulse; and, if it ever slackened, something was 
always sure to happen to renew it. It received a 
great impetus from the Tragedy of Meverling; 
perhaps — it is hardly doubtful — an earlier impetus 
from the incident which drew from her the bitter 
remark that " a baby is the end of many love affairs." 



So she wandered as much as she could — though 
she returned to Vienna when she felt that she must — 
and a detailed relation of her wanderings would 
almost read like a chapter from a road-book. She 
saw the Isles of Greece and the Norwegian Fiords. 
She bathed on the coast of Norfolk, and hunted in 
Ireland and in the Shires. She sojourned, for a 
season, at Steephill Castle near Ventnor in the Isle 
of Wight — the present dwelling of an American 
gentleman who sells medicines reputed to be bene- 
ficial to the liver; and a red-brick house in which 
she passed another season is pointed out at 
Cromer. She also went to Amsterdam for mas- 
sage, and to Cap Martin to sit in the sun; and she 
visited her home in Bavaria, and her sisters' homes 
in Paris, and stayed at Claridge's in London, and 
drank the waters at Kissingen. It was sometimes 
thought that she deliberately courted death by her 
daring feats of horsemanship. Her manner became 
that of a woman for whom life had nothing left, 
except what converse with Nature could offer. She 
even spoke of Nature as her "sole mediator with 
God"; and the scattered fragments of her table talk 
which those who knew her have preserved, are full of 
detached sentiments of a kind of poetic pessimism : 

" We must try to make islands of ourselves." 

" When we cannot be happy in the way that we 
desire, there is nothing for it but to fall in love 
with our sorrows." 

" In the life of every man there comes a time 
when his inner life becomes extinct." 

" I know that he who revolts suffers a hundred 



times more than he who is resigned; but resigna- 
tion is a thing of which I am not capable." 

" I should like to be buried near the sea, so that 
the waves might beat against my coffin. Then all 
the stars in Heaven would shine on me, and the 
cypresses would lament for me far longer than 
either men or women." 

Such phrases sound, as it were, the leit motif 
of the mystery of Elizabeth's life. She seems to 
have thrown them out, without telling anyone what 
sorrow or disappointment had inspired them. Each 
reporter who tries to guess at their meaning 
offers a different conjecture. The unkindness of 
Francis Joseph, who was not unkind — the un- 
kindness of some lover, who was — the tragic 
deaths of her son, her cousin, her brother-in- 
law, and her sister — all these things have been 
cited, by one chronicler or another, as explanations 
of her funereal gloom. But, as she confided in no 
one, no one need pretend to know, or to do more 
than draw the picture of a woman as unhappy as 
she was beautiful — clinging to her unhappiness as 
she clung to her beauty — wandering restlessly 
through Europe like a shadow pursuing shadows, 
but running home from time to time to keep up 

And the picture, to be complete, should also show 
the figure of Francis Joseph, doing his full share 
in the keeping up of those appearances, and taking 
long journeys in order to pay periodical visits to 
the Empress, who was making it so clear, to all who 
cared to look, that she was happiest away from home, 



and always wearing on his countenance that look 
of bland and imperturbable serenity with which his 
innumerable portraits have made Europe familiar. 
It is a picture full of lights and shadows and strange 
contrasts ; but we must not dwell upon it any more. 
Our attention is claimed by the supplementary spec- 
tacle of the Emperor at odds with fate, confronting 
the difficulties which threatened to tear his Empire 
to tatters, and gradually getting that Empire into 
some sort of order. 



Francis Joseph's snub to Napoleon III. — Proposal to address 
him as "Sir" instead of "Brother" — The consequences 
— Napoleon asks: "What can one do for Italy?" — 
Austria at war with France and Italy — The crimes com- 
mitted by Austria in Italy — Battles of Magenta and 
Solferino — Francis Joseph compelled to surrender Lom- 
bardy, but allowed to retain Venetia. 

Other things besides his wife's secret sorrows — 
or even his own — claimed Francis Joseph's attention 
through the 'fifties, 'sixties, and 'seventies. The 
hour for the fulfilment of Countess Karolyi's 
curse had not yet sounded; but it did seem as if 
that " break-up " of Austria which statesmen think 
about when they lie awake at night was imminent. 
Hungary was sullen; Prussia was ambitious and 
jealous; the Italian subjects of the Habsburgs hated 
them. It was the Italians who were destined to 
speak first. 

They had already spoken in 1848; but then they 
had been silenced, because Radetzky had been a 
good general, and Charles Albert a bad one. But 
Victor Emmanuel was a greater man than Charles 
Albert, and he had Cavour to guide him. Italia fara 



da se — Italy will work out her own destiny — had 
been Charles Albert's motto. Victor Emmanuel 
and Cavour played a more subtle game, and looked 
out for allies; and in Napoleon III. they found an 
ally who was quite willing to help them; a sym- 
pathetic man who had once been involved in the 
Carbonari movement; a sensitive man whom the 
head of the House of Habsburg had snubbed as a 
parvenu by proposing to address him as " Sir " 
instead of "Brother." 

So Napoleon's sympathies were worked upon, 
and the wires were pulled. It is said that 
the beautiful Countess Castiglioni helped to pull 
them, adding the influence of her charms to that 
of her arguments; and the statement is prob- 
able enough, for the Emperor of the French was 
susceptible. At any rate, he presently asked Cavour 
the point-blank question : " What can one do for 
Italy?" and a little later, in July, 1858, he had a 
quiet talk with Cavour at the Baths of Plombieres, 
and arranged what should be done, and what should 
be his own share of the plunder. 

Francis Joseph may have guessed what was 
coming when he read the reports of Victor 
Emmanuel's speech at the opening of his Parlia- 
ment, in January, 1859, containing the pregnant 
declaration that, "while respecting treaties, we 
cannot disregard the cry of grief which rises to us 
from so many parts of Italy." His guesses must 
have become certainties when, at the New Year's 
reception of the corps diplomatique, Napoleon re- 
marked, with chilly politeness, to Hiibner, now 



Austrian Ambassador, in the hearing of all the other 
Ambassadors : — 

" I regret that our relations with your Govern- 
ment are not so good as they have been ; but I beg 
you to assure your Emperor that my personal senti- 
ments towards him have undergone no change." 

A double-edged saying; for his feelings were 
hardly likely to be friendly towards the originator 
of the scheme for snubbing him as " Sir " instead 
of saluting him as " Brother." In any case it was 
a saying which meant war; and war was not long 
delayed. Francis Joseph, in fact, anticipated the 
inevitable by summoning Sardinia to disarm within 
three days; but Sardinia refused to disarm, and 
the French came over the Alps, beat Francis Joseph 
at Magenta and Solferino, and turned him out of 
Lombardy, though allowing him to retain Venetia. 

That was the beginning of the end; and the 
event contains an important moral, — the moral that 
the one permanent peril to European peace arises 
out of the hatred invariably felt for persons of 
German nationality by the races subjected to their 

The trouble with the German, whether of the 
North or of the South, is always this : that he 
regards himself as a heaven-sent ruler of men, but 
can, as a matter of fact, only govern in a state of 
siege. He can win battles, and organise a civil 
service ; but he can neither conciliate nor assimilate 
his subjects. The German Empire is sometimes 
compared (by .Germans) to the Roman Empire; but 



the difference between the two things is wide. The 
Romans, when they conquered the world, made it 
contentedly Roman. The French, similarly, when 
they took over Savoy from Italy, made it con- 
tentedly French. But no German dependency is 
ever contentedly German. Alsace is not; nor is 
Schleswig-Holstein, or Prussian Poland. In all 
these places, the German, in his jack-boots, strides 
about among a people who find his language bar- 
barous, his culture ridiculous, and himself an odious 
interloper. And it has been the same thing in 
Austrian Italy, where, even to this day, the few 
Italians who remain " unredeemed " refuse so much 
as to join the Austrian Alpine Club, but have pre- 
ferred to form a smaller Alpine Club of their own. 

In the days of which we are speaking, Austria 
ruled Lombardy and Venetia as subject provinces. 
At the same time, other Habsburgs reigned in 
Modena and Tuscany, while the abominable Bomba 
of Naples was the Empress Elizabeth's brother-in- 
law. Not in his own provinces only, but throughout 
Italy, popular representation was roughly refused. 
Italy, it was held, was " a geographical expression," 
and must behave as such. If it did not, then lead- 
ing Italian citizens must- be hanged; and, if there 
were any difficulty in getting evidence to hang them 
on, it must be obtained by torture. 

It is a fact, incredible as it may seem, that the 
Austrians used, in the 'fifties, to torture their Italian 
subjects in prison. It is a fact that they flogged, 
and sometimes executed, Italian civilians for " fail- 
ing in outward respect" towards the Austrian 



soldiery. It is a fact that they flogged women for 
the comments which they passed on such proceed- 
ings. It is a fact that they shot a butcher, found 
in possession of a butcher's knife, for carrying for- 
bidden arms, and a lunatic for going through the 
motions of drill in a public thoroughfare. It is a 
fact, finally, that, exasperated at the manner in 
which every official Austrian institution was boy- 
cotted, they notified the public that " if anybody by 
criminal political obstinacy persisted in not fre- 
quenting the theatre, such conduct would be 
regarded as the silent demonstration of a criminal 
disposition, which merited to be sought out and 
punished." The policy was as childish as it was 
savage, and as savage as it was childish. Gladstone 
had it in mind when he made his famous remark 
that nowhere on the map of Europe could one lay 
one's finger and say : " Here Austria has done 
good." His mistake lay not in offering that criti- 
cism, but in afterwards apologising for having 
offered it. What the Italians themselves thought 
of the matter is best shown by the written declara- 
tion which one of their victims handed in to his 
judges after his condemnation to death : — 

" I declare " (he said) " that, rather than deny the 
sacred principles on which the cause of Italian 
liberty and independence repose, rather than adhere 
to the rapacious policy of Austria, rather than sanc- 
tion its claims by any act which might seem to 
concede them, or by any submission to its authority, 
I, Pietro Fortunato Calvi, once officer of the 
Austrian Army, and late Colonel of the Italian 



Army during the War of Independence, now con- 
demned to death for the crime of high treason, go 
joyfully to this death, declaring from the scaffold 
that what I have done I have done knowingly, and 
that I would be ready to do it again in order to 
drive the Austrians out of the States which they 
have infamously usurped." 

His judges asked him, in their arrogance, whether 
he would ask the pardon of the Austrians for his 
disloyalty to them. His reply was that he desired 
neither their pardon nor any other favour : 

" I hate, and will always hate, the Austrians, until 
the end of my life, for all the ill they have done 
to Italy." 

The Austrians, that is to say, behaved as shame- 
fully in Italy as in Hungary; and this time Francis 
Joseph was held responsible. When he took his 
bride to pay his Italian dominions a ceremonial 
visit, the Italians made it clear to him, as they sub- 
sequently made it clear to the Archduke Maximilian 
and the Archduchess Charlotte, that what was de- 
sired was not his condescension, or that of any 
member of his family, but both his and their 

They made it clear in various ingeniously offen- 
sive ways. When the Archduke Maximilian ap- 
peared, with the Archduchess, in the Piazza at 
Venice, the whole population withdrew, leaving 
them alone there, as if they were lepers who might 
spread contamination. When Francis Joseph, ac- 
companied by the Empress Elizabeth, drove through 



the streets of Milan, not a head was uncovered, and 
not a cheer was heard; all the acclamations being 
pointedly reserved for the Italian Syndic, who was 
compelled, as an official, to follow in the procession. 
The Italian ladies, at the same time, dressed so as 
to display, by a cunning arrangement of stuffs, the 
colours of the Italian flag ; and, when the " Guerra, 
guerra " chorus, from Norma, was sung in the Scala, 
the audience applauded it as if they would never 

It seemed, therefore, to be Victor Emmanuel's 
clear mission to help the Italians to fulfil an 
obvious destiny; and Victor Emmanuel's mission 
was Napoleon's opportunity to show Francis 
Joseph, as he had already shown the Tsar, that 
Emperors who treated him as a parvenu did so 
at their peril. So he and Victor Emmanuel 
fought shoulder to shoulder, and made a typical 
little bit of Austrian history : typical because, as we 
shall see when we proceed, Italia Irredenta is only 
one of many districts whose inhabitants regard 
themselves as "unredeemed," and desire to work 
out their salvation with the help of their " nationals " 
over the border. There is also, as we shall note 
presently, a Servia Irredenta and a Roumania 
Irredenta, of which we are likely to hear a good deal 
in the immediate future, though this is not the place 
for speaking of them. Here we will merely note 
that Francis Joseph himself took part in the Italian 
campaign, heading a charge with the cry : " For- 
ward, my lads ! I, too, am a married man with a 
family ! " — an exclamation not without its irony for 



those, if there were any, among his hearers who 
knew the particulars of his married life. 

Though a brave soldier, however, he was by no 
means a soldier of genius. Apparently, indeed, it 
is only as a linguist and a figure-head — the sublime 
figure-head of the Habsburgs who need a figure- 
head so badly — that he possesses genius; in other 
respects he seems to have been, as Herr Wulfling 
was, at a later date, to the Princess Louisa of 
Tuscany, " a very ordinary man." In any case, he 
proved himself a very ordinary general, whom very 
ordinary generals were able to defeat — partly, per- 
haps, because his Hungarian soldiers showed great 
alacrity in deserting him ; but he sulked, with charac- 
teristic Habsburg sullenness, over the terms of 
peace. In particular, he sulked over the following 
article : — 

' The Emperor of Austria cedes his rights over 
Lombardy to the Emperor of the French, who, in 
accordance with the wishes of the population, will 
hand them over to the King of Sardinia." 

What, he asked Prince Napoleon, who was 
charged with the negotiations, was the meaning of 
that odd expression — "the wishes of the popula- 
tion"? Prince Napoleon replied that it meant just 
what it seemed to mean — that there was not an 
Italian in Lombardy who was not eager to see the 
Austrians turned out of that province. Whereupon 
Francis Joseph smote the table and raised his voice : 

" For my own part " (he said) " I recognise no 
rights except those which are incorporated in 

129 K 


treaties. According to the treaties, Lombardy 
belongs to me. My arms having been unfortunate, 
I am quite willing to cede the territory to the 
Emperor Napoleon; but I cannot recognise the 
wishes of the population, for that is only another 
phrase for the right of revolution. Use the phrase 
if you must in your treaty with the King of Sar- 
dinia, and in your proclamations to the Italian 
people — that is no business of mine; but you must 
clearly understand that I, the Emperor of Austria, 
emphatically refuse to put my signature to such a 
form of words." 

It did not matter; so Napoleon did not insist. 
The Head of the Habsburgs was quite welcome to 
make the gestures of pride while munching the 
pie of humility — a way of keeping up their dignity 
in depressing circumstances in which the Habsburgs 
are the worthy rivals of the Bourbons, and Francis 
Joseph in particular is the worthy rival of 
Louis XVIII., who treated the allied sovereigns as 
his lackeys when they restored him tc his throne. 
A more important matter was that, though Francis 
Joseph had been given his lesson, he had not learnt 
it, and that Napoleon, owing to dangers near home, 
had not been able to make the lesson as complete 
as he would have liked. 

Napoleon had promised that Italy should be 
free "from the Alps to the Adriatic"; but he 
heard that Prussia was mobilising on the 
Rhine, and left his work unfinished. Not only 
was Venetia left to Austria; but Habsburg Dukes 
of Tuscany and Modena were also restored to the 
States from which their subjects had expelled them, 



though the latter had actually shot his political 
prisoners, after first flogging them, before taking to 
flight. Whence, of course, two consequences fol- 
lowed. In the first place Francis Joseph was con- 
firmed in his stubborn view that he did really possess 
the right of ruling over Italians who loathed him. 
In the second place, the Italians continued to loathe 
him; and it was as certain as anything could be 
that, when his struggle with Prussia for the German 
hegemony came to a head, he would have to face a 
second day of reckoning with Victor Emmanuel. 

131 K 2 


An interval of peace — Beginnings of trouble with Prussia — 
Habsburg pride precedes a Habsburg fall — Refusal "to 
sell Venetia to Italy — Italy joins Prussia — The war of 
1866 — The disaster of Sadowa — Benedek's failure — 
Shameful treatment of Benedek by the Empire — Vain 
attempts to conciliate him — His widow's comments. 

Between 1859 and 1866 Francis Joseph had a 
seven years' respite in which to solve his problems; 
but 1866 found them still unsolved. At home 
he had advanced a little way towards Liberalism, 
and then withdrawn; abroad, he had let himself 
become entangled in the net spread by Bis- 
marck. Nor can the two mistakes be separated; 
for it was largely because he had failed to con- 
ciliate his subjects that he could not face his 
enemies. The fact that the Hungarians were 
still sullen made it comparatively easy for Prussia 
to turn Austria out of the German Confederation. 

Space forbids one to say more of the difficulty 
between Austria and Prussia than that it was the 
difficulty which arises when two men have to ride 
the same horse, and both of them want to ride in 
front. It was brought to a head by dissensions over 



the settlement of that complicated Schleswig- 
Holstein question concerning which a British states- 
man once remarked that only two men had ever 
understood it, and that one of the two was dead 
and the other in a lunatic asylum. An agreement 
on the question, concluded at a personal interview 
between Francis Joseph and the King of Prussia, 
was described by Bismarck as "no better than a 
piece of sticking plaster"; and no doubt Bismarck 
made it his business to see that the sticking-plaster 
did not stick. He first secured French neutrality 
at a famous interview at Biarritz; and then he pro- 
ceeded to negotiate with Italy. 

Here again we see an instructive example of 
Habsburg pride preceding a Habsburg fall. Italy 
had recently proposed to buy Venetia from Austria. 
Francis Joseph, knowing that the Venetians loathed 
him to a man, had nevertheless replied, in a scornful 
communication, that Austria's military honour and 
dignity as a first-class Power required him to retain 
them as his subjects : — 

" She would be unaffected by an offer of money 
or by any kind of moral pressure. She could only 
abandon the territory of her own free will in the 
event, not specially desired by her, of a war which 
terminated gloriously for Austrian arms, and facili- 
tated the extension of the Austrian Empire in the 
direction of Germany." 

In one and the same despatch, that is to say, 
Austria insulted Italy, and invited Italy to help 
her in despoiling Prussia. That was a rash tempta- 
tion of Providence; and the result of it was that 



an Italian envoy went to Berlin to negotiate a treaty. 
Then Austria was frightened, and offered to eat her 
words and cede Venetia, if only Italy would leave 
her free to deal separately with Prussia. It was a 
tardy and clumsy piece of suppleness, and it did 
not answer. Victor Emmanuel liked fighting, had 
promised to fight, and fought. 

We all know what happened : how the defeat of 
the Italians at Custozza by the Archduke Albert 
was more than counterbalanced by the defeat of the 
Austrians at Sadowa ; and how Austria had to accept 
her humiliation, submit to be turned out of the 
German Federation, and surrender Venetia to Italy, 
after a plebiscite had been taken to ascertain those 
"wishes of the population" which Francis Joseph 
had so haughtily refused to recognise. The figures 
give eloquent evidence of the feelings of alien 
races towards Austrian rule. They were as follows : 

For annexation ... 640,000 
Against ... ... 40 

Majority for ... 639,960 

The result, one may be sure, would have been 
pretty much the same if a plebiscite had been taken 
in the Trentino, and South Tyrol. There also 
Austrian rule was unsympathetic; and that sore still 
remains open, with the result that, though Austria 
and Italy are now nominally allied, they are very 
far from being friends, and Italy still awaits her 
chance of responding to the lamentations which con- 



tinue to reach her from the Purgatory of the Un- 
redeemed. We shall see what we shall see in this 
connection when Austria is next embarrassed; but 
meanwhile we must return to Francis Joseph's 
part in this great drama of 1866. His sphere 
of action was not the battlefield, but the council 
chamber; but there his prestige was felt, even in 
the hour of his discomfiture. Europe was still, 
to some extent, a family party in which the 
sentiment prevailed that Kings and Emperors 
must not be too hard on each other; and German 
Europe, at any rate, was still fascinated by the 
spectacle of the magnificent facade of the House of 
Habsburg, and reluctant to damage it in the spirit 
of Goths and Vandals. Even Bismarck's " realistic 
politics" had to allow for that sentiment; and it 
was a sentiment of which Francis Joseph, on his 
part, instinctively perceived the value. His percep- 
tion of it is the solid fact at the back of the strange 
story of his shameful behaviour towards General 
Benedek : a story in which he figures as the Jesuit 
convinced that the end justifies the means and that 
individuals must be sacrificed ruthlessly to the 
interests of the Order. 

" One cannot expect much of a man who has been 
educated by the Jesuits," said the late Prince Con- 
sort, summing him up with curt scorn; and there 
will be no pleasant disappointment of expectations 
in the story which is to follow. 

The interest of the Order, in this instance, meant 
the interest of the dynasty : whatever happened to 



Austria, the House of Habsburg must not suffer. 
Francis Joseph did not enter upon the struggle 
in a spirit of blind confidence : the Prussians, he 
knew, were armed with the new needle-gun, which 
might work surprising wonders. Defeat was 
possible; and if defeat occurred, a scapegoat 
would be wanted. Francis Joseph, as a young 
soldier, had been ready to take risks, and had 
gallantly assured Radetzky that "Austria had 
no lack of Archdukes." But Francis Joseph in his 
maturity did not want it to be possible for anyone 
to say that an Archduke had led the Austrian army 
to disaster, lest his subjects should lose their 
illusions about his House, and the revolutionary 
spirit should revive. 

His best general was the Archduke Albert; 
and he dared not risk him in conflict with 
Von Moltke. That Archduke had played an 
odious part, not yet forgotten, in the street fighting 
at Vienna. His men might follow him with reluct- 
ance; his defeat would disgust Austria with the 
dynasty itself; and the interest of the dynasty was, 
in Francis Joseph's view, "the thing." So the 
Archduke was given a comparatively easy task in 
Italy, and the really difficult work in Bohemia was 
forced upon General Benedek, who knew that he 
Was unfit for it, and said so. He was too old, 
he pleaded; he did not know the country in which 
he would have to fight. As the Prussian General 
von Schlictling afterwards put it : — 

" His experience was like that of a pilot who has 



all his life guided small boats over the shallows and 
by the rocks of his native bay with unsurpassable 
skill and knowledge of the locality, and has now for 
the first time to take a warship of the first class across 
strange seas and through cyclones of which he has 
no experience." 

It was a perilous, and almost a hopeless attempt; 
but Francis Joseph insisted upon his making it. 
He wanted to be sure, in case of disaster, of 
a scapegoat, who could be sent out into the wilder- 
ness, leaving the honour and dignity of the Habs- 
burgs intact. So he sent Benedek a message through 
Adjutant-General Count Crenneville, begging him 
to accept the command as a personal favour, saying 
that, if he refused it, and the war turned out badly, 
his own abdication would probably be forced upon 
him. " In such circumstances," wrote Benedek, " I 
should have acted very wrongly if I had refused 
the command"; and no doubt the dictates of dis- 
cipline did necessitate his acceptance of it. 

So Benedek marched to Sadowa*: the battle which 
hit Austria as hard as Sedan was afterwards to 
hit France. His losses there were 7 flags, 160 guns, 
4,861 killed, 13,920 wounded, and about 20,000 
prisoners. He was " broken like an old sword," and 
there was nothing for him to say, except : — 

"How could we face the Prussians? They are 
men of study, and we have learned little." 

Or rather, though there was a good deal more 
which he might have said, he was persuaded not to 
say it either before the Military Court which reviewed 



his conduct, or elsewhere. As Adjutant-General 
Count Crenneville had been sent to him before, so 
the Archduke Albert was sent to him now, at Graetz, 
in Styria, whither he had retired after being deprived 
of his command. He was asked to give a written 
promise that he would not publish any of the 
correspondence which had passed between himself 
and his generals or himself and the Emperor, or pub- 
licly vindicate himself in any way. He gave that 
promise; and the proceedings begun against him 
were suspended. But then — we come to Francis 
Joseph's perfidy. 

Francis Joseph wanted a scapegoat badly ; and he 
paid Benedek the compliment of believing him to be 
a more honourable man than himself. He acted 
indirectly instead of directly — semi-officially instead 
of officially; hitting at the man who was down, and 
had promised to make no attempt to rise, by- 
means of an article in the Wiener Zeitung. The 
article began by stating that there was no law in 
Austria which punished incompetence ; and it con- 
tinued : — 

" For the rest, the loss of the confidence of his 
imperial master, the destruction of his military 
reputation before the world of to-day and of the 
future, the recognition of the immeasurable misfor- 
tune that, under his command, has befallen the army, 
and, through its defect, has befallen the whole 
monarchy, must be a heavier penalty for the high- 
minded man that Benedek always was, than any 
punishment that could have come upon him by the 
continuation of legal proceedings." 


The Emperor Francis Joseph in i< 


One can imagine Benedek's anger at this black 
treachery ; but he did not allow it to sting him into 
the retractation of his pledged word. He maintained 
to the end the attitude of an honourable man V 
whom a dishonourable Emperor had tricked; and 
he bore contumely in silence. It was only in his 
will that he spoke out; but then he gave full vent 
to the indignation which he had so long suppressed. 
This is his last word on the matter : — 

" That the Austrian Government, having in its 
hand my promise of silence (given to the Archduke 
Albert on November 19, 1866) and believing in the 
honourableness of my promise, should publish this 
strange article, in which my whole past was 
ignored, and that this Government article, which 
it is impossible to qualify, was conceived in 
the presidential chancellery of the General 
Staff, corrected and improved by Field-Marshal 
Lieutenant Baron John, Field -Marshal Arch- 
duke Albert and others, and finally published 
by order of the Government in all its peculiar 
features — all this surpasses my ideas of right, 
decency, and propriety. I suffered it in silence, and 
I have now, for seven years, borne my hard lot as 
a soldier with philosophy and self-denial. I take 
credit to myself that, in spite of it all, I feel no anger 
against anybody and am not soured. I am at peace 
with myself and the whole world and have a clear 
conscience ; but it has cost me all my poetic feeling 
for soldiering. I should like to be borne to my 
grave with the utmost simplicity and without any 
military honours. A plain stone, or an iron cross, J 
without any epitaph, must be put over my grave." 



Meanwhile Benedek refused ever again to put on 
his uniform, and lived as a lodger in a boarding- 
house at Graetz. Francis Joseph did not like it — 
it was a reflection on him, especially after Von 
Moltke had complimented Benedek as a commander 
of courage and merit; but all the overtures which 
Francis Joseph's pride permitted him to make were 
met in a spirit of sullen resentment. When the 
Archduke Albert was directed to write to Benedek 
as to an " old campaigner and a brother-in-arms," 
he replied " with cold respect." The Crown Prince 
Rudolph was then directed to write to him ; but he 
neither asked for an audience, as he was expected to 
do, nor even answered the letter, merely permitting 
the Crown Prince's military tutor to fabricate and 
carry a message, thanking the Emperor " for the 
graceful way in which he has remembered me." 

" I am an isolated man " (he then said). " I need 
no external honour, and I feel that my internal 
honour is unstained. In this matter I acknowledge 
no earthly judge." 

Not long afterwards he died of cancer of the 
larynx; and even then the memory of the wrong 
lingered. This is what his widow wrote to her 
nephew in reference to the letters of condolence 
which she had received : — 

" Bismarck's letter, written throughout with his 
own hand, was the only one from a high personage 
which touched me; the telegrams from the Emperor 
and the Archduke left me very cold. When the 
Emperor sent the Crown Prince to us in 1873 as an 



apostle of conciliation, Benedek had suffered so 
much during the seven years that he refused every- 
thing and begged that they would not disturb the 
repose he had at last attained. The Emperor, 
always generous, had at least the goodness to ask 
if there was nothing he could do for me. He is 
generous. I thanked him sincerely : I need 

So the story ends ; and it has been necessary to tell 
it at some length because of the luminous light which 
it throws on Francis Joseph's character. Some his- 
torians have spoken of it as an isolated stain upon 
an otherwise blameless personality; but it is, in 
fact, of a piece with the whole personality, though the 
occasions which have called for such disagreeable 
manifestations of the personality have happily been 
rare. Francis Joseph was always able to give his 
equals, and has gradually learnt to be able to give 
his inferiors, the impression that he is genial affability 
incarnate. It is not natural to him to be mean 
or paltry — he very much prefers to be splendid. But 
there is, and has always been, at the bottom of his 
mind, a certain confusion of thought. If he has 
not mistaken himself for God, at least he has mis- 
taken the interests of the House of Habsburg for 
that Higher Law to which the ordinary laws of 
honour and morality which bind ordinary men must 
be subordinated. 

In the case under review the interests of the House 
of Habsburg needed a scapegoat; and therefore 
Benedek had to go out into the wilderness. He did 
not go out of his own accord; he was not driven 



out; he was tricked out by false pretences, and then 
pointed at with the finger of scorn. His widow's 
letter, which we have just read, reads like a quiet, 
measured echo of Countess Karolyi's curse, to 
the various fulfilments of which we shall come 
in the course of a few chapters. If she had less 
reason than Countess Karolyi to curse Francis 
Joseph, at least she had reason enough. 



Francis Joseph comes to terms with Hungary — His famous 
interview with Francis Deak — "Well, Deak, what does 
Hungary demand ? " — Dualism — The objection of the 
Slavs to Dualism — Coronation at Buda — Andrassy, 
whom he had hanged in effigy, becomes his Prime 

Defeated by the Prussians, Francis Joseph felt 
that he must come to terms with the Hungarians. 
Their sullen and enduring disaffection had been one 
of the causes of his discomfiture. They seemed to 
be looking on, rather pleased than otherwise, at the 
spectacle of the Habsburg Empire in the melting- 
pot, and there were even Hungarian exiles helping 
the enemies of the Habsburgs. It was necessary to 
win them over, even at the cost of giving them what 
they wanted. 

The popularity of the Empress helped to make 
them approachable. It would be an exaggera- 
tion to say that the Hungarians loved the Emperor 
because they had first loved the Empress, and loved 
the Empress because of her friendship for Nicholas 
Esterhazy; but that, nevertheless, was the trend 
of Hungarian sentiment. Elizabeth was, at all 



events, a friend at Court, and since she had been 
Empress there had been far more Hungarians 
about the Court than previously. So now, after 
Sadowa, but before his acceptance of the Prussian 
terms, Francis Joseph sent for the Hungarian leader, 
Francis Deak : a stubborn man, but moderate, and 
with a statesman's eye for the practical. 

Deak obeyed the summons, and was ushered into 
a room in which he saw the Emperor alone, absorbed 
in thought. After a short silence, a short dialogue 
passed between them : — 

"Well, Deak, what does Hungary demand?" 

" No more than she demanded before Sadowa — 
but no less." 

"And what have I to do now?" 

"Your Majesty must first make peace, and then 
give Hungary her rights." 

" If I give Hungary a constitution at once, will 
the Hungarian Parliament vote me money to carry 
on this war?" 

" No, your Majesty, the Hungarian Parliament 
will do nothing of the kind." 

For two reasons : because Hungary had no 
quarrel with Prussia, and because the hour of 
Francis Joseph's embarrassment was the hour in 
which it would be easiest to bargain with him. So 
Francis Joseph realised that Deak had him at an 
advantage. He remained silent for a few moments, 
and then said simply : " Very well. I suppose it 
must be as you insist." 

That was the quiet origin of the present Austro- 
Hungarian constitution — the system known as 



Dualism. It solved one Austrian problem with a 
stroke of the pen ; but there were a good many other 
problems which it left unsolved. Notably it left 
unsolved the pressing problem of the Slavs, whom 
the Hungarians, no less than the Austrians, regarded 
as inferior people, only fit to be oppressed. What 
the Hungarians had wanted — and now obtained — 
was not equal rights all round, but an invitation to 
go into partnership with the oppressors, and Mag- 
yarise one-half of the Empire while the Austrians 
were Germanising the other half. Whereupon there 
came a furious protest from a Slav historian : — 

" If it is decided " (wrote Palacky) " to reverse 
the natural policy of Austria; if this Empire, com- 
posed of a medley of different nationalities, refuses 
to accord equal rights to all, and organises the 
supremacy of certain races over the others; if the 
Slavs are to be treated as an inferior people, and 
handed over to two dominant peoples as mere 
material to be governed by them; then Nature will 
assert herself and resume her rights. An inflexible 
resistance will transform hope into despair, and a 
peaceful into a warlike spirit; and there will be a 
series of conflicts and struggles of which it will be 
impossible to foresee the end. We Slavs existed 
before Austria; and we shall continue to exist after 
Austria has disappeared." 

That is hardly doubtful. " Imprison a Slav 
idea," it has been written, " in the deepest dungeon 
of a fortress, and it will blow up the fortress in 
order to get out." But that peril belonged to the 
future. For the moment Austria was once more 
saved; and the Emperor's coronation in the cathe- 

145 l 


dral, in 1867, was a magnificent ceremony, every 
detail of it fraught with significance to those who 
knew their history. We have to picture Francis 
Joseph, mounted on a snow-white horse, ascending 
the ancient hill, and brandishing his sword to the 
four points of Heaven as a sign that he would con- 
found his subjects' enemies, whether they came 
from north, south, east, or west ; a very different ex- 
perience truly from that of the days when Milan had 
received him and the Empress, with their heads 
covered, in stony silence, and the people of Venice 
had shunned the Archduke Maximilian and the 
Archduchess Charlotte as if they were lepers who 
had escaped from quarantine. A part of the cere- 
mony consisted in the presentation to him of 
a purse of money, and he ordered its contents to 
be distributed among the families of those who had 
fallen fighting against him in 1849. It was one of 
those magnificent gestures which, like kind words, 
are worth much and cost little. 

So that Francis Joseph, having turned a rebuff to 
his advantage, was stronger after Sadowa than 
before it ; and he soon showed his skill in conciliating 
individuals by bestowing the office of Prime Minister 
upon the Count Andrassy who had been condemned 
to death, and hanged in effigy, for his share in the 
Hungarian rebellion. " I am so glad I didn't really 
hang you," he said genially, " for, in that case, I 
should have deprived myself of the most capable 
and amiable of my Prime Ministers"; and he did as 
good a day's work when he said that as when he 
promoted the old soldiers whom he had caught 



poaching to be game-keepers. Moreover, he dis- 
played a similar readiness to let bygones be bygones 
and to fight shoulder to shoulder with his old 
enemies when Prussia fell out with France in 1870. 
That, however, is an intricate story, and demands 
a separate chapter. 

147 L 2 


Attitude of Austria in the Franco-German War — Proposed 
alliance of France, Italy, and Austria against Prussia — 
General Tiirr's interview with Francis Joseph — Victor 
Emmanuel's conditions — The bargain concluded — The 
French plan of campaign drafted by the Archduke 
Albert — Beust's letter to Richard Metternich — Reasons 
why the Austrian promises were not fulfilled. 

What was Austria doing in 1870? What did she 
mean to do? What did she promise to do? Was 
there a sudden right-about face? And, if so, why? 
Those are our problems, and the solution of them 
is supposed to be one of the secrets of the political 
coulisses. Doors and windows have been opened 
here and there, however, affording peeps at the mys- 
tery; and enough can be seen to make it clear that, 
just as Austria astonished the world with her in- 
gratitude in 1854, so, if the full truth had been made 
known, she would have astonished the world with 
her perfidy in 1870. 

There is, of course, an official Austrian version of 
the events : that any promises made were contingent 
upon conditions which were not fulfilled. There is 
also an official French version : that France was 



lured on, and treacherously left in the lurch. By 
no means all the documents bearing on the matter 
have been made public, — there may still be surprises 
in store for us ; but future revelations are likely to 
throw light upon motives rather than facts. This 
much, at any rate, is certain : that an Austrian 
Archduke — Archduke Albert, the victor of Cus- 
tozza — drafted the French plan of campaign against 
Prussia for the French War Office, on the assump- 
tion that Austria would take part in that campaign, 
and that the Austrian pledge of assistance was only 
withdrawn at the eleventh hour. 

Now let us go back and note the circumstances 
and atmosphere in which the plot was laid. 

Long before the Franco-Prussian War came, the 
feeling that it was bound to come was in the air, 
It was understood that Prussia, having fought 
Austria for the hegemony of Germany, would fight 
France for the hegemony of Europe. What the 
pretext would be was doubtful, but it was certain 
that a pretext would be found. The quarrel about 
Luxemburg was a symptom of a deeply-seated 
rivalry. Napoleon foresaw the peril, and deter- 
mined to anticipate it by forming an irresistible 
Triple Alliance with Italy and Austria for his 
partners. The story of that alliance — and of its 
failure — can be pieced together from the "indis- 
cretions" of various persons charged with the 

It was in 1869 that Napoleon began to negotiate 
with both Victor Emmanuel and Francis Joseph; 
and Francis Joseph and Victor Emmanuel, either 



simultaneously or soon afterwards, entered into 
negotiations with each other. The actual phrase 
Triple Alliance occurs in this connection in a letter 
from Victor Emmanuel to Napoleon, first printed 
in the Giornale (Tltalia. This is the essential 
passage : — 

" I cannot possibly refuse to give my adherence 
to the idea of a Triple Alliance between France, 
Austria, and Italy; for the union of these Powers 
will present a strong barrier against unjust pre- 
tensions, and so help to establish the peace of 
Europe on a more solid basis." 

Peace, of course, is always the ostensible object 
of alliances of the kind. It is very seldom their 
real object; and it was not in this case. Victor 
Emmanuel desired as little as Napoleon to limit it 
in that way. What was at the back of Victor 
Emmanuel's mind appears from his negotiations 
with Francis Joseph — negotiations which he en- 
trusted to General Tiirr, a Hungarian officer in 
the Italian service. General Tiirr is one of those 
who have been indiscreet. He eventually told the 
correspondent of a German newspaper what had 
passed between him and Francis Joseph, and how, 
after reviewing the subject in its general aspects, 
he went into details from the Italian point of view, 
and raised the inevitable question of Italia Irre- 
denta : — 

" I mentioned the Trentino to Francis Joseph, 
and he interrupted me. 



"'Ah!' he objected, 'it is always I who am 
expected to give something up.' 

' Naturally/ I replied. ' But it is also clearly 
understood that your Majesty will obtain compensa- 
tion for the surrender in some other quarter.'" 

It was a proposal by which Francis Joseph 
might very well have been tempted, especially as he 
had not yet realised that the future of Austria was 
in the Balkans. We have already seen him hinting 
that he might be able to give up Venetia if he could 
obtain " an extension of the Empire in the direction 
of Germany"; and the same bribe might very well 
have induced him to part with the Trentino. Of 
course, too, the memory of Sadowa rankled; and, 
with the French and the Italians for his allies, he 
could hardly fail to avenge that humiliation. The 
chance of thus playing off his various enemies 
against each other was not one to be scoffed at. 

He did not scoff at it, but the three-cornered bar- 
gain was too intricate to be settled in a hurry. In 
particular, Victor Emmanuel was in no hurry, but 
was hanging back in order to make conditions with 
France as well as with Austria. With him, the 
position of the Pope was the obstacle. He wanted 
the Pope's temporal dominions in order that he 
might fix his capital at Rome; and the Pope was 
protected in those temporal dominions by French 
bayonets. Victor Emmanuel, therefore, stipulated 
that the French troops should be withdrawn from 

Napoleon himself was willing enough to with- 



draw them, but the Clericals, with the Empress 
Eugenie at their head, objected. He was afraid of 
the Clericals; and so the negotiations hung fire. 
When he did recall his troops, because he wanted 
them in the field, it was too late. Victor Emmanuel 
had heard the news of the French defeat at Worth, 
and he uttered the memorable words : — 

" The poor Emperor ! I am very sorry for him ; 
but I have had a narrow escape." 

Even so, however, Victor Emmanuel would have 
signed the proposed treaty if his Ministers would 
have let him, as he told the German Emperor 
frankly when he met him in 1873 : — 

" Your Majesty knows, no doubt, that if it had not 
been for these gentlemen (Minghetti and Visconti- 
Venosta) I should have declared war on you in 

But " these gentlemen " had only held Victor 
Emmanuel back because they were themselves held 
back by the counsels of the Austrian Cabinet. 
"Too late!" was their verdict; for they, too, had 
heard of Worth. But if they drew back when Victor 
Emmanuel was willing to go on, they could also be 
reproached for having pledged themselves more 
deeply than he : a piece of secret history which 
those who held the secret have only recently 

The essential "new fact" is that already set forth 
in this chapter : that on the eve of the declaration 
of war the Archduke Albert, whose success at Cus- 



tozza had gained him the reputation of a great 
strategist, was sent to Paris by Francis Joseph to 
concert a joint plan of campaign against Prussia. 
He conferred there with Lebceuf, Lebrun, Fros- 
sard, Jarras, and other leading French soldiers, and 
Lebrun was sent off to pursue the negotiations at 

France, it transpired in the course of the discus- 
sions, was much readier to take the field than either 
of her allies. She claimed to be able to mobilise in 
a fortnight, whereas it was admitted that it would 
take both Austria and Italy about six weeks to 
mobilise. The Archduke proposed, therefore, that 
the three Powers should begin their mobilisation 
simultaneously, but that Austria, instead of de- 
claring war before she was ready, should affect 
neutrality while concentrating two army corps at 
Pilsen and Olmiitz. Lebrun did not altogether like 
the arrangement. He smelt a rat, and suspected 
a disposition on the part of the Austrians to wait and 
see which way the cat would jump. Still, there was 
something to be said for it; for it could be no 
advantage to France that her ally should be 
crushed while in the act of mobilising. So a formal 
agreement between France and Austria was con- 
cluded on June 13th, 1870. 

That was the occasion on which the Archduke 
Albert drafted the plan of campaign : not merely 
a general scheme of joint action between the two 
Powers, but a detailed plan of campaign for the 
distribution and employment of the French army. 
His draft still lies in the archives of the French 



War Office, though naturally it is not shown to 
everyone; and the plan itself conforms in almost 
every particular to the plan which Napoleon 
adopted. The criticism passed on it by the few 
military experts who have since reviewed it is this : 
that it was an excellent plan on paper — excellent 
on the assumption that the French generals could 
direct the enemy's movements as well as their own, 
but that it was composed without regard to the 
actual conditions of the case, allowing nothing for 
independent Prussian initiative, and therefore was, 
on the whole, a bad plan. 

The premature attack on Saarbriicken — the first 
skirmish of the war — was undertaken in accordance 
with the plan. It was a good move on the assump- 
tion that the French were ready to follow it up ; 
but they were not ready to follow it up, and therefore 
it was a bad move. The failure to follow it up was 
as fatal in the diplomatic as in the military sense, 
for it gave point to the Archduke Albert's report 
that the French army did not seem to him as strong 
as he had been led to expect. It served, conse- 
quently, as a starting-point for hesitations; but 
Austria was nevertheless committed, though she 
drew back from her commitments; and the Arch- 
duke's visit to Paris and his proceedings there give 
special point to Grammont's grandiloquent words, 
addressed on July 15th to the Finance Commission, 
which he had kept waiting : — 

" If I have kept the members of the Commission 
waiting, my excuse is that I had with me, at the 



Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Austrian Ambas- 
sador and the Italian Minister. I am confident that 
the Commission will not require me to say any 

Grammont, when he spoke thus, believed, and had 
reason to believe, that the proposed Triple Alliance 
was a real thing. The Austrian contention is that 
he had mistaken courteous expressions of sympathy 
for specific pledges; but that view can hardly be 
maintained in the face of the facts disclosed as to 
the Archduke Albert's mission; and other corre- 
spondence which has been published is equally at 
variance with it. 

Only two days after his speech to the Finance 
Commission, Grammont wrote a request to Austria 
for the help promised. He asked that 70,000 or 
80,000 Italian troops should be allowed to march 
through Austria to Bavaria, and that Austria should 
herself send 150,000 men to Bohemia. If that were 
done, he said, the peace would be signed in Berlin, 
and the memories of 1866 would be effaced. But 
everything depended upon promptitude : — 

" Never again" (Grammont concluded) " will such 
an opportunity present itself. Never again will you 
obtain such effective support. Never will France 
be so strong as she is to-day, or better armed and 
equipped, or animated by a more intense en- 

Whereto Beust replied in a letter addressed to 
Count Richard Metternich, the Austrian Ambas- 
sador, in Paris : — 



" Be so good as to assure the Emperor and his 
Ministers once again that, faithful to the engage- 
ments defined in the letters exchanged by the two 
Sovereigns at the end of last year, we consider the 
cause of France our own, and shall contribute in 
every way possible to the success of French arms. 
Our neutrality is only a means towards the true end 
of our policy : the sole means of completing our 
armaments without exposing ourselves to a prema- 
ture attack on the part of Prussia or Russia." 

" Or Russia" : those are the words which hold the 
key to the position. 

Austria, acting in conjunction with France and 
Italy, had no reason to be afraid of Prussia; but 
if Russia should side with Prussia, she might have 
a good deal to be afraid of. Count Nigra has 
specifically stated that Russia intimated her inten- 
tion of doing so, and that it was by that intimation 
that the Triple Alliance was brought to nothing. 
Its collapse, it must be added, was a triumph not 
only for Prussia, but also for Hungary. Up to the 
last hour Austria was willing to take the risks, but 
Hungary declined them. An extension of the 
Austrian Empire in the direction of Germany was 
the last thing which the Hungarians desired, for 
its result would obviously be to increase German, 
at the expense of Magyar, influence in the dual 
monarchy. Moreover, the Hungarians, owing to 
their geographical position, had more to fear than 
the Austrians from a Russian invasion. 

So Andrassy argued, putting his foot down, and 
Francis Joseph gave wav to him. Our chapter, 



therefore, concludes with the ironical spectacle of 
Francis Joseph reversing his foreign policy and 
breaking his word to a friendly Power in deference 
to the wishes of a rebel whom he had hanged in 
effigy : a spectacle which we may view as a humilia- 
tion or a proof of sagacious flexibility, as we prefer. 



Austrian expansion in the Balkans — Occupation of Bosnia — 
Problem of Servia Irredenta — Postponement of the day 
of reckoning — Luck of the Habsburgs in public life — 
Calamities dog them in private life — List of Habsburg 
fatalities during Francis Joseph's reign. 

The four great dates in modern Austrian history 
are 1859, 1866, 1870, and 1878 — the year of the 
Russo-Turkish war. The events of those years 
gradually made it clear that the future of Austria was 
not in Italy, nor in Germany, but in the Balkans : 
that the real rival of Austria was Russia, and that 
the real contest would be for the hegemony, not 
of Germany, but of the Slav subjects of the Sultan 
of Turkey. Thenceforward the central principle of 
Austrian foreign policy was that, for every step 
which Russia took towards Constantinople, Austria 
should take a corresponding step towards Salonica ; 
and its first tangible expression was the secret treaty 
which, in 1878, allowed Austria to occupy Bosnia 
as the price of her neutrality. 

It took an army of 200,000 men, with 480 guns, 
to pacify that little strip of land ; and the occupa- 
tion, and the subsequent events in the peninsula, 



have brought Austria up against another problem, 
uncommonly like the old one which disturbed the 
beginning of Francis Joseph's reign. For the 
inhabitants of Bosnia are of Servian race ; and there 
are many other Servians in other parts of the 
Austrian dominions; and there is a Kingdom of 
Servia, full of fiercely patriotic men, from whom the 
cry of Servia Irredenta is going up. Austria once 
despised them, as she once despised the Italians; 
but they have proved, like the Italians, that they 
can fight; and they demand, as loudly as the 
Italians, to be taken seriously. So that Austria, in 
spite of her losses and gains, retains her essential 
character as the Purgatory of the Unredeemed. 

It is not a quiet purgatory — perhaps no purgatory 
is ever quiet — but a purgatory in which order is only 
kept by the strenuousness of the police, and the 
frequent declaration of martial law. Consequently 
it is a purgatory in which startling things may 
happen at any time ; but speculation as to what will 
happen there may be deferred until a later chapter. 
Probably nothing in particular will happen during 
Francis Joseph's lifetime; but the matter needs 
nevertheless to be mentioned here as a part of the 
spectacle of trouble perpetually dogging Francis 
Joseph's footsteps alike in public and in private 
life. People speak of him as a lover of peace; 
and it is likely enough that he has learnt to love 
peace through sheer weariness of war and rumours 
of war. But it is none the less true that, whenever 
he has sought to extend his paternal sway, he has 
not brought peace but a sword ; and it was mainly 



with reference to the events of his reign that Glad- 
stone said : " Nowhere on the map of Europe can 
you lay your finger and say : ' Here Austria has done 
good. 5 " It has already been demonstrated to him, 
more than once, that the Servians are of Gladstone's 
opinion; and the demonstration will not become 
less emphatic with the lapse of time. 

We must let that pass, however, though we shall 
have to return to it. The day of reckoning is not 
yet; and it will not come in Francis Joseph's life- 
time if either he or his Ministers can help it. One's 
continual impression, when reading modern Austrian 
history, is of a day of reckoning always imminent, 
yet repeatedly by some happy hazard adjourned. 

In public affairs, that is to say, Francis Joseph 
has enjoyed, and continues to enjoy, a luck 
like that which is said to attend the British 
Army and save it from the consequences of its 
blunders. It is only in his private life that mis- 
fortune has pursued him so closely and incessantly 
that, when the news of the assassination of the 
Empress Elizabeth was broken to him, he covered 
his face with his hands and broke down, exclaiming : 
" What ! Is there no sorrow possible to man which 
I am to be spared ? " 

The time has come to speak of these sorrows ; and 
the black series began, curiously enough, in the 
very year in which Francis Joseph achieved his most 
signal triumph as a ruler. It was in 1867, as we 
have seen, that he pulled his Empire out of the fire 
after the disaster of Sadowa, conciliated Hungary, 
and was crowned with gorgeous and impressive 



ceremony in the Buda Cathedral. It was also 
in 1867 that his brother, the Archduke Maxi- 
milian, was shot for pretending to be Emperor of 
Mexico; and that execution was the first of the 
series of tragedies which never fail to strike one 
as due to happen in fulfilment of Countess Karolyi's 
curse. Since we have come to the theme, we must 
have the text of that curse before us once again : 
the curse of a mother whose son had forfeited his 
life as a rebel : — 

"May Heaven and Hell blast his happi- 
ness ! May his family be exterminated ! 
May he be smitten in the persons of those 
he loves! May his life be wrecked, and 
may his children be brought to ruin ! " 

And now let us set beside that curse a newspaper 
cutting, taken from one of the Vienna journals at 
the time of the assassination of the Empress 
Elizabeth. It is a bald summary, headed " The 
Sorrows of the House of Habsburg," and it runs 
thus : — 

"On January 30, 1889, Crown Prince Rudolph 
took his own life in his hunting-box at Meyerling. 
In May, 1897, Sophie, Duchess d'Alencon, at one 
time the affianced bride of Ludwig II. of Bavaria, 
was burnt to death, in Paris. On June 16, 1867, 
the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, the Empress's 
brother-in-law, was shot by a firing-party at 
Queretaro. His consort, the Belgian Princess Marie- 
Charlotte, lost her reason, and has been, for the last 
thirty years, under restraint at the Chateau of 
Bouchout. Archduke William Francis Charles 

161 M 


died, in the summer of 1894, at Baden near Vienna, 
from injuries sustained through a fall from his 
horse. Archduke John of Tuscany, who had re- 
signed his rank and taken the name of John Orth, 
disappeared on the high seas off the coast of South 
America. King Ludwig II. of Bavaria, the Em- 
press's cousin, committed suicide on June 13, 1886, 
drowning himself in the Lake of Starnberg in a fit 
of insanity. Count Ludwig of Trani, Prince of the 
Two Sicilies, husband of Duchess Matilda in 
Bavaria, and sister of the Empress, committed 
suicide at Zurich. Archduchess Matilda, daughter 
of Field-Marshal Archduke Albert, was burnt to 
death in her father's palace as the result of a blaz- 
ing log from the fire having set alight to her ball 
dress. Archduke Ladislas, son of the Archduke 
Joseph, came to grief while hunting by an accidental 
discharge of his gun. And now we learn that the 
Empress Elizabeth has been murdered." 

A mere list, it will be seen, eloquent in his sim- 
plicity : a list which takes cognisance of nothing 
except violent deaths, but enumerates ten such 
deaths among the near relatives of the Emperor 
and Empress. It is a list which we shall have to 
lengthen by the inclusion of calamities of other 
kinds : scandals due to the proceedings of those 
whom Bismarck styled "Austria's idiot Archdukes," 
and of more than one Archduchess ; and outrageous 
marriages, as they generally seemed to Francis 
Joseph, on the part of scions of his house — some 
of them quite close to the throne — who made light 
jests about his agreeable relations with Katti 
Schratt, and left him alone in his glory, turning their 



backs upon the exclusive magnificence which seemed 
to him essential to the time-honoured grandeur of 
the House of Habsburg, and quitting imperial for 
theatrical and bourgeois circles, not reluctantly, but 
with an eagerness which suggested a hurried flight 
from a plague-stricken city. 

All these catastrophes will have to be reviewed; 
and we will speak first of the bitter fate of that 
young Archduke Maximilian, who, at the very time 
when his brother was adding a kingdom to an 
Empire in Europe, was led out into the Square of 
Queretaro and shot for pretending to be an Emperor 
in Mexico. 

163 M 2 


Francis Joseph's brother Maximilian — Invited to be Emperor 
of Mexico — Hesitates, but consents to please his wife — 
Resignation of his rights as a Habsburg — The Facte de 
Famille and the quarrel about it — The compromise — The 
last meeting of the brothers — Maximilian's melancholy — 
He composes poetry — He receives the benediction of 
the Pope and departs for his Empire. 

The tragic circumstances of the death of the 
Emperor Maximilian — pulled off his imperial pin- 
nacle to be shot to death in a public square — have 
encircled his memory with a halo to which the bald 
facts of his case do not entitle him. The word 
"martyr" has even been used in the connection; 
and a letter has been published in which his wife, 
quoting Scripture, compares him to " the Good 
Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep." He 
was, in truth, if metaphor be wanted, merely the 
titular leader of a pack of wolves who came to a 
violent end in conflict with another pack of wolves ; 
and, if metaphor be dropped, the best that can 
be said for him is that he was a weak and vain man 
who allowed himself to be fooled into undertaking 
a task for which he had no qualifications except an 
agreeable manner and an historic name. 



If an ornamental Emperor had been all that 
Mexico wanted, Maximilian might have filled the 
post and shone in it ; but he was grossly unfit, both 
intellectually and temperamentally, to be an Em- 
peror of any other kind. He seems to have felt 
that, and to have tried to turn back before even 
setting his hand to the plough ; but various considera- 
tions impelled him to the hopeless enterprise. He 
was jealous of Francis Joseph, who had snubbed 
him in Italy, and made his position in Austria un- 
pleasant. His wife, the Archduchess Charlotte, 
daughter of the King of the Belgians, was ambitious, 
and urged him on. Napoleon, and the Mexican 
exiles of the clerical party, flattered him; and 
he allowed himself to be made their tool. He 
did not understand that Napoleon himself had only 
interfered in Mexico as the tool of unscrupulous 
cosmopolitan financiers — notably the notorious 
Baron Jecker, who had bribed de Morny — and was 
now chiefly anxious to build a golden bridge over 
which he could withdraw from an untenable position. 

We have met Maximilian already as Francis 
Joseph's Viceroy in Lombardy and Venetia. We 
have seen the Italians turning their backs on him, 
and leaving him and the Archduchess to stand alone, 
like lepers, in the Square of Saint Mark at Venice; 
and we have seen Francis Joseph dismissing him 
from his governorship, because, trying to be sym- 
pathetic towards the Italians, he did not govern with 
a sufficiently high hand. He felt his disgrace, and 
retired to sulk on his estate, at Miramar, on the 
Adriatic, where, like so many of the Austrian Arch- 



dukes, he abandoned himself to the composition of 
poetry and political pamphlets. He was far more 
a dreamer than a man of action ; but action — or, at 
least, the attempt at action — was the inevitable out- 
come of his dreams. The Archduchess Charlotte, 
being vain and ambitious, saw to that. 

Legend — for she has passed into legend, though 
she is still alive — represents Charlotte as Maxi- 
milian's superior in energy and capacity, — the 
sort of woman who is resolved to keep her hus- 
band up to the mark and make a man of him ; but it is 
hard to see upon what evidence that estimate of her 
rests. Assuredly, she was more anxious to be an 
Empress than Maximilian was to be an Emperor; 
but that proves nothing. She merely egged her hus- 
band on in the spirit in which the wife of a city 
magnate urges her husband to accept a knighthood 
which he does not particularly want. She foresaw 
the glory; she did not foresee the responsibilities 
and the danger. When she did perceive the danger, 
it frightened her, quite literally, out of her wits; 
whereas Maximilian, however incompetent, at least 
contrived to be calm and dignified in the extreme 
hour when the penalty of his error was exacted. 
Then, though hardly till then, he showed himself 
worthy of the great House which, when it does not 
defy appearances, keeps them up with admirable 

There is no need to relate the story of his many 
interviews with the Mexican delegates who, at 
Napoleon's instance, lured him from his retreat at 
Miramar. It is merely, in brief, the story of Maxi- 



Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico. 


milian's "I dare not" overcome by Charlotte's "I 
would." In the first place, he said that he would 
go to Mexico if it were the unanimous wish of the 
Mexicans that he should do so, but not otherwise. 
In the second place, he accepted ridiculously inade- 
quate evidence of Mexican unanimity. The pressure 
of Charlotte, who appears to have desired an Im- 
perial crown as ardently as humbler women desire 
gorgeous hats, had evidently intervened. So Maxi- 
milian learnt Spanish, and toured Europe, to ascer- 
tain what potentates thought of his enterprise, and 
concluded a treaty with Napoleon, and entered into 
negotiations with Francis Joseph with regard to his 
future status as a Habsburg. 

The text of his Treaty with Napoleon is sufficient 
proof of Maximilian's knowledge that he was called 
to the throne by a faction, and not by a nation. He 
stipulated for the support of French bayonets, which 
he obviously would not have needed if the Mexicans 
had been unanimous in their desire that he should 
rule over them : a fact which it will be important 
to bear in mind when the question whether he should 
be regarded as a usurper or a rightful sovereign, 
dethroned by murderous rebels, comes to be con- 
sidered. Meanwhile, his negotiations with his 
brother resulted in something uncommonly like a 
family quarrel. It was a question there of the text 
of the Family Compact which he should be required 
to sign, before he could be allowed to set out for 
Mexico with his brother's blessing. 

They were not brothers between whom there had 
latterly been any superfluity of affection. On the 



contrary, Maximilian had been making himself 
popular at Francis Joseph's expense in Austria 
as well as Italy. The citizens who cried 
" Hurrah for Maximilian ! " were taken to mean 
" Down with Francis Joseph ! " ; and if the 
Crown Prince Rudolph, who was a delicate child, 
had died, Maximilian would have been Francis 
Joseph's heir. It suited Francis Joseph perfectly, 
therefore, that Maximilian's name should be 
erased from the list of members of the royal family. 
The Family Compact was drafted so as to erase it, 
depriving Maximilian of all his rights as an agnate 
of the House of Habsburg; and the matter was 
debated with great heat and violence — to the amaze- 
ment of the Mexican delegates, who protested that 
what they required was a permanent Emperor, not 
an Emperor leased to them for a term of years. 

Never, said Maximilian, would he put his signa- 
ture to that degrading document. Very well, replied 
Francis Joseph. Maximilian could sign it or leave 
it unsigned as he preferred; but, if he did not sign 
it, then he would not receive the sanction of his 
sovereign to go to Mexico. In that case, rejoined 
Maximilian, he should dispense with his sovereign's 
sanction, and start from Antwerp on a French boat. 
The answer to that, retorted Francis Joseph, would 
be a message to the Austrian Parliament, charging 
him with disloyalty, and formally depriving him of 
all the rights which he now declined to renounce. 

So the domestic battle raged ; and various people 
were dragged into it. Maximilian complained to 
his mother, who took his side ; but the Archduchess 



Sophia, once so influential, could obtain no con- 
cession from the Emperor, and left his cabinet, 
slamming the door behind her. Maximilian 
threatened to appeal to the Pope; and the Arch- 
duchess Charlotte appealed to Napoleon, who 
sent General Frossard to Vienna with an auto- 
graph letter for Francis Joseph. Then Char- 
lotte went to Vienna, saw Francis Joseph, herself, 
and arranged something which could be called a 
compromise. The Pact must be signed — there could 
be no question of that ; but Francis Joseph consented 
to express his regret for the necessity which com- 
pelled him to insist upon its signature, and proposed 
that the ceremony should take place at Miramar, 
" where the Emperor of Austria would only be the 
guest of the Emperor of Mexico." Those were the 
terms which Maximilian and Charlotte accepted. 
Maximilian did not really care, and made no secret 
of his indifference. The dream of Empire had 
dazzled him ; but the prospect of the realisation of 
that dream alarmed him. While his wife rushed to 
and fro, sending off and receiving telegrams, nego- 
tiating with feverish excitement, he, on his part, 
sat at Miramar, writing poetry which gave eloquent 
utterance to his apprehensions and regrets : — 

What ! Must I quit my fatherland for ever, — 
The country where my first delights were seen? 

Those sacred ties am I condemned to sever, 

Which link the present with the might-have-been? 

And so on and so forth through six stanzas, in which 
Maximilian expresses deep disdain for sceptres and 
crowns and palaces, and a marked preference for the 



tranquil paths of literature, science, and art. It is 
not a mood in which a man enters with much prospect 
of success upon such an enterprise as that of found- 
ing a European Empire in Central America, in the 
face of opposition from blood-thirsty Republicans; 
and it is to be noted that what Maximilian said 
to himself in verse he also said to his intimates in 
prose : — 

" For my own part," he is reported to have told 
one of them, " if anyone came and told me that the 
negotiations had been broken off, I should lock 
myself up in my room and dance with joy. But 
Charlotte. . . .?" 

It is his admission that he was accepting the 
Empire, as men profess to accept knighthoods, for 
his wife's sake, rather than his own. Charlotte had 
made up her mind that the Imperial crown would 
suit her, and she meant to wear it. She stirred 
Maximilian up, if not to enthusiasm, at least to the 
point of saying : — 

" The establishment of an Empire in Mexico is 
an enterprise which may possibly fail ; but the ex- 
periment is one worth trying." 

So the die was cast; and Francis Joseph fulfilled 
his promise with the affability which distinguishes 
him when he has got his own way in essentials. He 
repaired to Miramar with Archdukes, Ministers, 
Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, Chamberlains, Vice- 
Chamberlains, Aides-de-camp, Field-Marshals, 
Governors, Lieutenant-Governors — all the dramatis 
fersoncB of ceremony. After the Pact had been 



signed, the lunch was served ; and then the two 
Emperors parted in the dignified manner of Em- 
perors, neither embracing nor shaking hands, but 
merely exchanging military salutes— albeit, it is 
said, with the red eyes of men who found it difficult 
to pay their tribute to appearances, and whose hearts 
harboured dark forebodings. 

Maximilian's heart, at all events, harboured them. 
At the very time when the Mexican flag was flying 
from the topmost tower of Miramar, his emotions 
proved too much for him, and he broke down. 
His emotions prevented him from appearing at the 
lunch which he gave to his Mexican supporters; and 
the Empress had to preside at it in his place, while 
he paced moodily up and down an arbour in the 
remotest corner of the garden. A congratulatory 
telegram from Napoleon which Charlotte brought to 
him was the cause of a nervous explosion. " I 
forbid you to speak to me of Mexico," he snapped 
out; and the date of his departure had to be post- 
poned, to give him time to recover his composure. 
Even so, he wept as the coast of Austria sank out 
of sight, first weeping in public on the deck, and 
then retiring to his cabin to weep unobserved. 
Assuredly Maximilian had his full share — if not 
more than his full share — of that neurosis which the 
Habsburgs inherit. 

And so, in the first instance, to Rome, where 
Pius IX. bestowed a benediction on his enterprise : 
a benediction which has an ominous ring in the ears 
of those who read it in the light of subsequent 
events : — 



" Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the 
sins of the world ! It is through Him that Kings 
reign and govern. It is through Him that Kings 
do justice; and if He sometimes permits Kings to 
pass through sore trials, He is the source of their 

" I recommend to you in His name the happiness 
of the Catholic peoples who are confided to you. 
Great are the rights of peoples, and they should be 
satisfied; but greater and far more sacred are the 
rights of the Church, the immaculate bride of Jesus 
Christ, who has redeemed us with His precious 

An exhortation, it will be observed, to Maximilian 
to go to Mexico as the elect, not of the nation, but 
of the clericals : those clericals whose prevailing 
principle of conduct was that money ought to be 
taken away from laymen and given to clergymen ; 
who had introduced ridiculous laws to the effect that 
no one must work on a Sunday without the permis- 
sion of a priest, and that, when the Host was carried 
through the streets, everyone must kneel, and re- 
main kneeling until the clerical procession was 
out of sight, and the tinkling of the clerical bell 
could no longer be heard. A prediction, further, that 
the clerical policy which the Pope pressed upon the 
Emperor might get the Emperor into trouble; so 
that Maximilian went to his mission with shaky 
nerves, and in the spirit of a missionary who fears 
that his cross will prove too heavy for him. 

Charlotte, it seems, kept up his spirits during the 
voyage. She was going to be an Empress — that was 
enough for her. She knew nothing about Mexico. 



except that El Dorado lay thereabouts — nothing of 
the imperial status, except that it was outwardly 
splendid. She believed the people who told her that 
she was going to lie in a bed of roses in a gold mine. 
The things to which she looked forward were the 
banquets, the levees, the drawing-rooms, and the 
Court balls. Her talk — and Maximilian's talk also 
when she launched him on the subject — was of rules 
of precedence, the creation of new Orders of 
Nobility, and new and lucrative offices for the 
benefit of personal friends. In short, as Emmanuel 
Domenech puts it in his History of Mexico : — 

" One saw renewed on the Novara the story of 
the Frenchman who, having decided to open up 
trade with the Redskins of North America, stocked 
his shop with ostrich feathers, the most delicate linen 
of Belfast, and a number of costly porcelain tea- 

But the reality was widely different from the 
dreams; and disillusion followed quickly. Maxi- 
milian, like Charlotte, was puffed up with pride. He 
was even proud at Charlotte's expense, and told her 
that, now that he was an Emperor, it would be un- 
becoming for her to enter his presence, without first 
asking permission, unless he sent for her; but that 
regulation was of no service to him in the practical 
conduct of Mexican affairs. His actual business as 
an Emperor consisted, and had to consist, in the 
waging of a civil war. So long as he had Bazaine 
and the French Army of Occupation to help him, 
he was able to wage his civil war successfully; but 



it was not long before Napoleon heard the voice 
of the President of the United States drawing his 
attention to the Monroe doctrine. Breaking his word 
to Maximilian, he withdrew his troops; and, after 
that, Maximilian's position was hopeless. 

So that we see misfortune and peril assailing the 
two Emperors of the House of Habsburg simul- 
taneously : Maximilian fighting for his throne in 
every corner of his Empire in the very year in which 
Francis Joseph had to fight for his throne at Sadowa 
and Custozza. Only there was an important differ- 
ence between the two cases. Francis Joseph's 
enemies wished him no particular harm. They had 
certain affairs of honour and precedence to settle 
with him, and they meant to settle them ; but, when 
those affairs were settled, they meant to shake hands 
and be friends. They did not thirst for his blood, 
but regarded his position as rather a convenience 
to Europe than otherwise, provided that he did not 
presume on it. He might suffer, but he would be 
left strong, and — above all — safe. 

His brother Maximilian, on the contrary, was in 
personal peril, and knew it. Civil wars in Mexico 
were waged in a very different spirit from dynastic 
wars in Europe. There had once before been an 
Emperor of Mexico — the adventurer Iturbide — and 
he had been shot. There was a large party in 
Mexico — the party of Benito Juarez and Porfirio 
Diaz — which refused to recognise Maximilian, de- 
claring that he was only pretending to be an Em- 
peror, and that the real Government of the country 
was still Republican. The French had never quite 



subdued that party; and it began to lift its head 
again as fast as the French retired. If Maximilian 
was a nervous man, he had every reason to feel 

He was a nervous man, and he did feel frightened. 
Charlotte was a nervous woman, and she was 
frightened too. It does not seem to have occurred 
to either of them that, if they could not maintain 
themselves in Mexico without French bayonets, they 
had no business there — ideas of that sort do not occur 
to HabsBurgs who have tasted power : their accumu- 
lated pride — which is their substitute for strength — 
forbids. The idea was rather that, if they could not 
maintain themselves without French bayonets, those 
bayonets must be supplied ; and it was agreed that 
Charlotte should go to Europe and lay that view 
of the matter before the Emperor of the French. 

Her journey, in the year of Sadowa, was the occa- 
sion of the first of those blows which have since 
fallen, almost without cessation, on Francis Joseph's 



Vanity and nervousness of the Empress Charlotte — Evil 
omens which frightened — Her journey to Europe to seek 
help for Maximilian — Her cold reception by Napoleon 
III. — Symptoms of approaching- insanity — Her madness 
— Maximilian abandoned by the French — Attacked by 
the Republicans — Captured at Queretaro — Francis 
Joseph's vain attempt to save him — His trial and execu- 

It must be repeated that the common view of the 
Empress Charlotte as a valiant woman who took 
matters into her own hands when the Emperor 
Maximilian was timorous and hesitating cannot 
stand. She was, in the first place, a vain woman 
who took purely frivolous views of Imperial re- 
sponsibilities; in the second place, a woman who 
lost her mental balance when she discovered that 
the position for which she had longed had its duties 
as well as its pleasures, and its perils as well as its 

The legend has grown up that she came to Europe 
to plead for the life of a husband w T ho was in the 
hands of his enemies, and lost her reason in despair 
at Napoleon's decision to leave him to his fate; 
but that is not the case. At the time when she 



started for Europe, Maximilian was still free to walk 
out of Mexico at any moment; and her purpose in 
coming to Europe was to ask Napoleon for more 
soldiers to keep him there against the will of the 
majority of the Mexican people. Moreover, the 
first signs of insanity had already shown them- 
selves before her embarkation at Puebla, where, 
no one could imagine why, she woke up the whole 
of her escort in the middle of the night and insisted 
upon their all going with her to call upon the 
Prefect. That assuredly was the action of a woman 
whose wits were already taking flight through terror ! 

It used to be whispered that her Mexican enemies 
tried to poison her, and that the drug, though it 
failed to kill, drove her mad; but that is another 
story unsupported by any shred of evidence. Char- 
lotte was simply scared; one needs — and one can 
find — no other explanation. Warnings to which she 
attached no importance at the time now rang like 
alarm-bells in her ear. There was the warning of 
Louis-Philippe's consort, Queen Marie-Amelie, who 
was Charlotte's grandmother. " They will be 
assassinated," Marie-Amelie had said, and repeated 
daily to her little Court, when she heard of her 
granddaughter's adventure. There was the warning 
of the Archduchess Sophia. " Remember, my son," 
she had said to Maximilian — forgetting what she 
had previously said to the Emperor Ferdinand — 
when bidding him farewell, " one does not descend 
from a throne except to mount a scaffold." 

Charlotte remembered these things, and remem- 
bered also the stories she had heard of the savage 

177 N 


temper of the Mexicans : Indians and half-breeds 
who had no bowels of compassion, but were capable 
of torture as well as murder. Those memories, and 
the apprehensions roused by them, were so many 
haunting phantoms; and the news which Charlotte 
heard when she landed at St. Nazaire, and the cir- 
cumstances of her reception at Paris, were like a 
further series of evil omens. At Saint-Nazaire she 
was told of the catastrophe of Sadowa ; and at Saint- 
Lazare she found no representative of the French 
Court awaiting her on the platform — an omission 
not the less painful because it was due to a mis- 
understanding. There would have been no such 
misunderstanding if Napoleon had not been in- 
different. An Empress whose regard Napoleon 
valued would not have been left to drive to the 
Grand Hotel and ask for a bed in that great cara- 

The Empress Eugenie, hearing of her arrival, 
hurried to see her at the Grand Hotel, and the 
two women cried together. General Castelnau, 
who was in attendance on the Empress, tells us 
that when she left Charlotte's apartment her eyes 
were red. The interview with Napoleon himself 
followed; but, though he kissed Charlotte's hand 
with proper gallantry, he would do nothing for her. 
He was " gentle but obstinate," as his mother, Queen 
Hortense, had always declared him to be. When 
Charlotte knelt at his feet, sobbing and supplicating. 
he was moved to kind words, but he would make no 
promises. The Mexican expedition, he pointed out, 
had become unpopular in France. It had already 

I 7 8 


cost him too much money and too many men. He 
must get out of it — as he probably had always meant 
to do from the hour at which he had inveigled 
Maximilian and Charlotte into their false posi- 
tion : — 

" Then we shall abdicate/' said Charlotte, be- 
lieving that this menace would intimidate the 

'Yes, I suppose you had better abdicate," was 
Napoleon's polite reply. 

That was all she could get out of him; and she 
got still less out of his Ministers. One of these, 
indeed, begged her to grant him permission to retire, 
" lest your Majesty's eloquence should induce me 
to make promises incompatible with my position as 
a Cabinet Minister." It was Maximilian's sentence 
of death if he still insisted upon obeying his mother's 
injunction : never to descend from his throne unless 
pulled off it to mount a scaffold. Charlotte, in full 
flight from her terror, hurried to her old home at 
Miramar; and Miramar was only a halting-place on 
the road to Rome. 

What comfort she expected to find at Rome it 
might be difficult to say. The Pope, so far as his 
temporal power went, was the mere creature of 
Napoleon; even more dependent on the support of 
Napoleon's bayonets than Maximilian himself. 
Perhaps Charlotte expected him to intercede with 
Napoleon; perhaps she expected him to work a 
miracle — she was quite mad enough by this time to 
take the pastoral staff for a magician's wand. At 
Miramar, as at Puebla, her proceedings betokened 

179 N 2 


irresponsible frivolity. She paused there to give a 
fete in celebration of the anniversary of Mexican 
independence : that independence for which the 
Mexicans were, at that very hour, fighting against 
her husband. She told the President of the Trieste 
Chamber of Commerce that Maximilian might, in 
the course of the next year, " take a little trip to 
Europe," in which case he would not fail to pay a 
visit to Trieste. Francis Joseph sent his brother, 
the Archduke Louis Victor, to see her there; but 
sympathy was all that he could offer. He lay at the 
proud foot of the Prussian conqueror, and was 

So Charlotte at last went on to Rome, and there 
the crisis came. There was no lack of ceremony, 
no lack of consideration. The Pope received her 
in a manner befitting her rank, and went to her hotel 
to return her visit. She went to see him again, and 
then, in a Vatican ante-chamber, broke out into a 
violence of word and action which permitted of no 
doubt as to her mental state, though the attempt 
was made to mask the truth : — 

" The words ' mental alienation,' ' wrote an 
official, "have been pronounced. The truth is that 
the Empress is in a state of excitement which indi- 
cates serious nervous agitation, but does not pre- 
clude the exercise of her reasoning faculties. This 
excitement is specially remarked whenever Mexico 
and the Mexicans are mentioned in her presence. 

" The crisis demands rest — mental as well as 
bodily; and the Pope has, for that reason, assigned 
the Empress an apartment in the Vatican, close to 
his own, while awaiting the arrival of the Comte de 


Charlotte, Wife of Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico. 


Flandre, who will conduct his august sister to 

But rest was of no avail. Charlotte was not only 
mad, but a monomaniac. She had the delusion that 
there was a conspiracy to poison her; she was 
insisting upon trying all her food on the cat before 
she would touch it. A telegram had to be sent to 
Maximilian : — 

" Her Majesty the Empress Charlotte was seized, 
on October 4th, at Rome, by a cerebral congestion 
of the gravest character. The august Princess has 
been taken back to Miramar." 

That was the end of Charlotte's tragical odyssey ; 
and Maximilian's struggle was also nearing its close. 
No one wanted to prevent him from abdicating, and 
one may fairly say that nothing but Habsburg pride 
stood in the way of his abdication. He had 
all that pride without any of the strength of 
character which ought to go with it. It was 
the creed of the family — the creed, in particular, 
as we have seen, of the Archduchess Sophia 
— that a Habsburg might yield his throne of his 
own free will to another Habsburg, but must on no 
account resign it for the paltry reason that his people 
did not want him to rule over them. Maximilian 
decided to be true to the tradition — to throw himself 
into the arms of the Clericals, and with their help, 
and in conformity with the simple Papal doctrine 
that the rights of the Church were more sacred than 
the rights of peoples, make a fight for it. 

So long as the French were with him, he could 



not do everything that the Clericals would have liked 
him to do; for France, while remaining Catholic, 
had ceased to be ultramontane and obscurantist. 
Now he could embrace them, and even restore the 
Inquisition if he chose — on the one condition that 
he defeated the Republicans. On the day of the 
departure of the French from the city of Mexico 
he shut himself up in his Palace, with all the blinds 
drawn, peeping out from behind the blinds to watch 
them march away, while remaining himself unseen. 
When the last of them had gone, he reopened the 
blinds and the windows, exclaiming dramatically : 

" Now at last I am free ! " 

Free to do what? 

Free to give orders that if Benito Juarez and 
certain other Republican leaders were caught in 
arms against him, a court-martial should sentence 
them to be shot; but not free to carry out his 
threat, for the order never reached General Miramon, 
to whom it was addressed, but fell into the hands 
of Juarez himself, to be produced against Maxi- 
milian at his own trial by court-martial. Free to 
march, with his Clerical host, into Queretaro, but not 
free to get out again; for it was on Queretaro that 
Juarez, and Diaz, and Escobedo, and Corona, and 
Regules, and Riva Palacio converged to take him 
prisoner, and bring him to judgment in the Theatre 
of Iturbide — that name of evil omen — on the charge 
of pretending to be an Emperor. 

It all happened quickly — almost in the twinkling 
of an eye. The date of the departure of the last 
French detachment was February 5th, 1867; anc * 



it was on the following day that Maximilian 
dispatched his letter instructing Miramon to con- 
demn Juarez to death. On February 13th, he left 
the city of Mexico, and on February 17 he entered 
Queretaro amid the acclamations of the Clerical 
inhabitants. On February 26th he decreed a forced 
loan, and actually got the money; but on March 2nd 
his enemies began to arrive. Roughly speaking, 
there were 40,000 Republicans against 7,000 Im- 
perialists; and, after sustaining a siege of rather 
more than two months' duration, Maximilian had to 
surrender in the early morning of May 15th. 

The news came to Europe. A Habsburg — the 
brother of the head of the House of Habsburg — 
was in the hands of Indians and half-breeds, who 
threatened to treat him as he himself had threatened 
to treat their leaders, under that notorious Black 
Decree which his own hand had signed. It was 
an urgent question for Francis Joseph what steps, 
if any, he should take in order to try to save his 
brother's life. 

He could have made excuses to himself if he had 
decided to take no steps at all ; for he, no less than 
the Mexicans, had his grievances against Maxi- 
milian. At a time when Francis Joseph seemed to 
have been compromised by disaster, Maximilian had 
been cheered in the streets of Vienna. There had 
been a party in Vienna which had entertained the 
idea of putting Maximilian on Francis Joseph's 
throne. Maximilian had himself spoken imprudent 
words on that occasion; and the imprudent words 
had been reported. Moreover, even after Maxi- 



milian's elevation to the throne of Mexico there had 
been stormy diplomatic passages-at-arms between 
the brothers. 

Maximilian had resented Francis Joseph's allu- 
sion, in his speech at the opening of the Reichsrath, 
to his resignation of his Austrian privileges, and had 
addressed an indignant protest to his diplomatic 
representative at Vienna : a protest in which he set 
forth that he had consulted the most eminent jurists 
of the day about the Family Compact which he had 
been induced to sign, and that they had unanimously 
advised him to treat it as null and void. The protest 
had been published in the Viennese newspapers, but 
had not been formally presented at the Austrian 
Foreign Office. The Austrian Foreign Minister, 
taking unofficial cognisance of it, had unofficially 
intimated that if it were so presented, the Mexican 
Minister would be conducted to the frontier. It 
would have been easy, therefore, for Francis Joseph 
to excuse himself for bearing malice and leaving 
Maximilian to his fate. 

He bore no malice, and he did what he could. 
The Austrian Minister at Washington was instantly 
instructed to solicit the intercession of the Govern- 
ment of the United States. As a guarantee that, 
if Maximilian were spared, he would definitely 
abandon his ambitions, it was proposed to offer 
formally to restore him to his old status as a Habs- 
burg, and a family council was convoked for that 
purpose. One of the Archdukes present raised 
objections, recalling Maximilian's ambitions as an 
Austrian Pretender, and predicting trouble; but 


^d a 

, wh: 






I Ml 

.. , Francis Joseph would not listen. ' That question, " 

,ie said, " is not before us. Our only question is : kg 

emJ i vt » bJec 

now to save human lite. s.ooc 


len c 


But Maximilian's life was not to be saved. The ftho 
* -VT- man who had him in his power was a man whose life 

he had threatened. Juarez might play with Maxi- 

^ e milian as a cat with a mouse, but he would not let 

• orQ go. He used fine phrases about it — " high considera- wi 

tions of justice," and the like; he most punctiliously jn 
' accorded Maximilian the benefit of all the forms 
pa of law. But the law was against Maximilian; 
there was no way through that Black Decree which 
r he himself had promulgated. Legally and morally 
or ' alike, Juarez had as good a title to execute him 
"e t i as he had ever had to execute Juarez; and Juarez 
1 stood upon his rights. He laughed — or rather the 
l d s | President of the court-martial laughed on his behalf 
i ow< — a t Maximilian's naive invocation of " the im- 
munities and privileges which appertain in all cir- 


t y cumstances to an Austrian Archduke." The 

* ju Indians and half-breeds knew nothing and cared 

s. nothing for those privileges and immunities. The 

>f 'J Austrian Archduke had pretended to be their Em- 

n it peror, and had killed some of them and threatened 

th ib to kill others, and for those offences he should be 

"Ec shot. They shot him in the early morning of June 

m r e 19th, 1867. For Charlotte, who still had occasional 

I glimmerings of sanity, he was "the good Shepherd 

|f w j who gave his life for the sheep"; but for his Mexi- 

|i can subjects he was merely the foreigner who had 

1 presumed to come among them and pretend to be 



ses- an Emperor. 


to 1 
the j 
een ) 

l at 
• re- 


Such was the first of the long series of tragedies 
which were to punctuate Francis Joseph's personal 
life; and there is a moving irony in the fact of its 
occurrence in the very year of his first great political 
triumph. One can imagine that the shame of it was 
an even heavier blow to him than the sorrow. A 
Habsburg, close to the Habsburg throne, tried like a 
criminal and shot like a dog by Indians and half- 
breeds; the head of the House of Habsburg unable 
to help him, and curtly told, almost without the 
formula of politeness, that his attempt to interfere 
was an outrage on " high considerations of justice " ! 
Truly Francis Joseph must have felt in that hour 
that the curse of Countess Karolyi, called forth 
because he too had tried his enemies like criminals 
and shot them like dogs, had not been unavailing. 

1 86 


Habsburgs and Wittelsbachs — Which is the madder House? 
— Insanity of the Empress Elizabeth's cousin, Ludwig 
II. of Bavaria — His eccentricities — His tragic death — 
— Grief of the Empress — Suicide of Elizabeth's brother- 
in-law, the Comte de Trani — Tragic death of the Arch- 
duchess Elizabeth. 

Archduke Maximilian was dead, and Francis 
Joseph had to humble himself to the Indians and 
half-breeds, and beg their permission to fetch his 
brother's body to Europe and bury it in the tombs 
of the Habsburgs. Archduchess Charlotte was 
stark, staring mad, and all hope of the restoration of 
her reason had been abandoned. There was to be 
no other tragedy quite so tragic, or quite so intimate, 
until that of Meyerling, to which we shall quickly 
come; but there were intervening tragedies, tragic 
and intimate enough, which hit Francis Joseph 
through his cousins of Bavaria. Notably there was 
the tragedy of Elizabeth's cousin — who was also 
Francis Joseph's cousin — King Ludwig II. 

It is a question sometimes debated by the mem- 
bers of the two families, whether the Wittelsbachs 
are madder than the Habsburgs, or the Habsburgs 



madder than the Wittelsbachs. According to 
Countess Marie Larisch, who speaks for the Wittels- 
bachs, the difference is that "with the Habsburgs 
insanity usually shows itself in depravity, self- 
effacement, and common marriages, while, in the 
case of the Wittelsbachs, it transforms the sufferer 
into a romantic being who is quite above the 
banalities of everyday life, but who occasionally 
deteriorates and becomes a gross feeder "(; but that 
is not quite a true antithesis. Common marriages, 
as Countess Marie calls them — and the marriage of 
her own father, the brother of the Empress Eliza- 
beth, to the actress, Henrietta Mendel, falls in the 
category — are not necessarily unromantic; and 
Wittelsbachs, as well as Habsburgs, have contracted 
them. Still, as an introduction to the story of the 
career of Ludwig II., the contrast is not without its 
point. Ludwig was as mad as a hatter; and he 
has also been spoken of as "the last of the 
Romantics" — the last, at all events, of the Roman- 
tics who have sat on thrones. 

The beginning of his tragedy was the breaking 
off of his engagement to the Empress Elizabeth's 
sister, Sophie; and the ease with which he was 
manoeuvred out of that engagement, as the result 
of a Court intrigue, is, in itself, a sufficient proof 
that his intelligence was none too strong. It was 
represented to him, quite untruly, that his affianced 
bride had been flirting with his Master of the Horse, 
Count Holnstein. The Count and the Princess 
were inveigled into being photographed together; 
and this testimony of "the camera which cannot 



lie" was brought to Ludwig's notice. There was 
also some story of a ring which Count Holnstein 
was observed to be wearing, and which was believed 
to have been given him by the Princess, though, 
as a matter of fact, it had been given to him by an 
actress who had stolen it from the Princess. 

That was the bait; and Ludwig walked into the 
trap and took it. He made no inquiries, and asked 
for no explanations. Instead of doing so, he made 
unsatisfactory excuses for postponing his wedding- 
day; and w T hen Duke Maximilian charged him with 
trifling with his affianced bride's affections, he 
lost his temper, smashed Sophie's bust, tore up 
Sophie's portraits, and declared that Sophie was 
welcome to marry anyone she liked provided that 
she did not marry him. So all was over, and they 
were both unhappy; and it does not seem that 
Sophie found perfect bliss in her subsequent union 
to the Due d'Alengon. The day came when Sophie 
clamoured for a divorce : not because she had any 
tangible grievances, but because she had conceived 
the idea that she would like to marry a doctor in 
practice at Munich, and devote herself to philan- 
thropic activities. She had to be kept under restraint 
for a season at a private asylum at Graetz, already 
referred to as " the rendezvous of princes," because 
of the large number of august lunatics whom it har- 
boured : among others, the Duchess of Augusten- 
burg, Pedro of Saxe-Coburg, whose mania was a 
dread of poison, and Charles of Lichtenstein, who 
had gone mad on account of his failure to meet the 
woman of his dreams. 



And Ludwig, meanwhile, was so mad that there 
could be no mistake about his madness, though it 
was a kind of madness which gained him, as has 
been said, the title of the Last of the Romantics. 
He lived, like William Beckford, in a solitude of 
fantastic splendour. He had the table laid, in an 
empty banqueting hall, for ghostly guests, and 
fancied that he was entertaining Marie- Antoinette, 
and Catherine of Russia, and Hamlet, and Julius 
Caesar. He caused command performances of the 
best operas to be given to himself alone in an empty 
theatre. He sailed about the Starnberg Lake in 
a gondola, towed by a swan. He caused eminent 
actors to recite to him while he ate, and he went 
on eating, and kept them reciting, until five o'clock 
in the morning. He outraged the feelings of the 
Court by bestowing titles of nobility on his tailor 
and his barber; and the end of it all was that 
keepers took the place of courtiers, and a Regent 
was appointed. 

The story goes that Elizabeth refused to believe 
that he was mad, and, after vainly imploring Francis 
Joseph to insist upon his release, engaged in a plot 
to rescue him. The King was to dive into the lake, 
and swim across it, and a carriage, with swift horses, 
ready harnessed, was to be waiting to carry him 
far away from his keepers to a place of safety. It 
sounds like a story built on a foundation of careless 
emotional talk; and the end, at any rate, came 
differently, and somewhat mysteriously. Ludwig 
persuaded his doctor to send the keepers away, 
declaring that their presence worried him ; and the 


King Ludwig II of Bavaria. 


doctor was a muscular man who believed that he 
could trust himself to cope with any emergency. 
Strong as he was, however, Ludwig was still 
stronger; and when the keepers returned, they 
found that both the King and the physician had 
been drowned, after a struggle, of which there was 
abundant evidence. Whether the King had mur- 
dered his physician, in order that he might be free 
to escape, or the physician had perished in attempt- 
ing to frustrate the King's attempt at suicide, re- 
mains to this hour uncertain. 

There is a further story to the effect that the 
Empress Elizabeth saw the tragedy in a dream, and 
awoke, screaming, to learn that her dream was a 
true vision; but though the dream itself is well 
accredited, one may suspect that legend has taken 
a liberty with the date. There is something charac- 
teristic, however, and therefore probably true, in the 
report of the words which the Empress is declared 
to have spoken as she bent over her cousin's corpse : 

" Leave the King here ! Leave him in his mor- 
tuary chapel ! He is not dead. He is only pre- 
tending to be dead, in order that he may be left in 
peace, and that no one may be able to torture him 
any more." 

The conception of life as a torture which must 
be stoically endured had, by that time, grown upon 
the Empress; and there were still other trials in 
store for her, which were to confirm it, even before 
the tragic day on which her sister was to meet her 
death in the fire at the Bazaar de la Charite at Paris. 



There was to be another suicide in the family, that 
of the Comte de Trani, at Geneva. The Archduke 
Joseph's son, Archduke Ladislas, was to be killed, 
accidentally, while shooting. The Archduchess 
Elizabeth, daughter of the Archduke Albert, and 
granddaughter of the Archduke Charles, who had 
fought so well against Napoleon, was to perish in 
a still more tragic accident. 

She was in her ball-dress of lace and muslin, 
leaning out of one of the windows at Schonnbrunn, 
smoking a cigarette. It was a forbidden pleasure ; 
and hearing her father's footstep, she made haste 
to hide the cigarette, first covering it with her hand, 
and placing it behind her. The Archduke stopped 
to talk to her, and a moment later the ball-dress was 
in flames. He could not reach her, and so could 
do nothing to help her. She ran, shrieking, down 
the corridor, and the draught fanned the flames. 
Before they could be extinguished, she was burnt 
almost to death ; and though they placed her in a 
bath of oil, and took her to Vienna, the best 
physicians could do nothing for her, and she died 
in agony a few days later. 

There we have another example of the poignant 
sorrows to which Francis Joseph has been con- 
demned through the sufferings of members of his 
family; and now we come to the greatest tragedy 
of all — the tragedy which was to deprive him of his 
only son, the Crown Prince Rudolph. 



The Crown Prince Rudolph — His quarrel with the German 
Emperor — His affability and his hauteur — A spoiled 
child — His search for a wife — Marriage to Princess 
Stephanie — Disappointment and disillusion — Stephanie's 
book — " A long, long, terrible night has gone by for me " 
— Mary Vetsera and her family — How Mary Vetsera 
was taken first to the Hofburg and thence to Meyerling. 

The name Rudolph had not been borne by a 
Habsburg ruler for five hundred years. A curious 
fatality seemed to attach to it, and probably had 
inspired a superstitious fear of it. Rudolph II. had 
died mad. Rudolph III. and Rudolph IV. had 
died young — the one at twenty-seven and the other 
at twenty-six. But people had ceased, as it seemed 
with good reason, to think of such ominous things ; 
and the Crown Prince Rudolph inspired great hopes 
as well as great affection. 

That he was really a degenerate, touched by the 
hereditary taint, is hardly, indeed, to be doubted; 
but the symptoms of degeneracy were not con- 
spicuous, and, on the whole, passed unobserved. 
He must be classed with the brilliant Habsburgs, 
or, at least, among those who had literary and 
artistic tastes, which they cultivated, and were proud 

193 o 


of. He travelled, and wrote a book about his 
travels ; he edited a monumental work on the scenic 
beauties of the Austrian Empire; he consorted, on 
very affable terms, with artists and men of letters. 
He was also one of the friends of the late King 
Edward, who remarked of him that he was a good 
German — " at all events in the sense of being anti- 
Prussian"; and he showed character in a passage- 
at-arms with the German Emperor, who spoke con- 
temptuously of his preoccupation with the fine arts : 

" Nonsense of that sort," the Emperor is reported 
to have said, " is unworthy of a soldier and a Crown 

" There is only one thing," Rudolph is reported 
to have replied, "which is unworthy of a Crown 
Prince, and that is to aspire to the throne during 
his father's life-time." 

And yet, when Countess Marie Larisch came to 
tell what she knew of the Meyerling tragedy, her 
" secret" was to the effect that Rudolph himself had 
not only aspired to, but also conspired for, the 
throne of Hungary during Francis Joseph's life- 
time. But neither story can be said to disprove the 
other; for one can discover no grounds for crediting 
Rudolph with firm and consistent principles. 

He was capable of affability; but he was also 
capable of hauteur. One might compare him, as 
one might compare a good many of the Habsburgs, 
to a poker which will unbend itself, but declines to 
be unbent by others. Some workmen employed in 
the Palace discovered that, when he came among 
them, as a child, and talked to them while they were 



engaged in decorations and repairs. " Well, what 
is your name, young fellow?" they presumed to 
ask him; and the little boy drew himself up. " Papa 
and mamma call me Rudolph," he answered. 
"Other people call me Monseigneur." He was 
young enough for the snub to amuse without giving 
pain. Most likely the workmen declared him to be 
whatever is the German for "a chip of the old 
block." At any rate he grew up to be popular with 
people who did not know him, or only knew him 
slightly. He was " unser Rudi," just as the German 
Emperor Frederick was " unser Fritz." 

Still, he was a spoiled child, and precociously 
cynical; and perhaps, in view of the way in which 
he was brought up, it would have been hard for him 
to be anything else. The legend of his mother's 
devotion to him is found at the circumference of his 
circle, but cannot be traced to its centre. From an 
early age, he saw and understood too much for 
innocence. Among other things he saw the "go- 
between," and knew for what purpose she went 
between. There was no example before his eyes to 
lead him to look upon happiness in marriage as an 
easily attainable ideal; and he held women cheap, 
because so many of them made themselves cheap 
with him. One of Countess Marie's stories is to 
the effect that she boxed his ears for laughing at 
"love-sick girls," and boasting of his conquests, 

and saying of a certain Elizabeth T : " The 

silly goose thinks I adore her, and so I can do any- 
thing I like with her." 

It was, therefore, as a young man who had already 

195 o 2 


lost his illusions that Rudolph set out in search of 
a wife. The story has been told that another lady 
travelled with him as a provisional companion while 
he was looking for a wife, and was, at least once, 
caught in his company in compromising circum- 
stances by his prospective mother-in-law. He was 
too eligible a parti for any prospective mother-in- 
law to attach more importance than she could 
help to such a contretemps ; and after Rudolph 
had rejected the suit of Princess Mathilde of 
Saxony, on the ground that her style of beauty 
was of too luxuriant an effulgence, then, " weary," 
to quote Countess Marie, " of a choice of many 
evils, he decided to take the least of them, as repre- 
sented by the Princess Stephanie of Belgium." 
And Stephanie said, or is said to have said, " He 
asked me for my hand so prettily that I could not 
possibly refuse it to him." 

That in spite of the compromising discovery of 
the provisional lady companion in his rooms. His 
manner must indeed have been charming if 
it removed the impression of that surprise; but 
Rudolph could be fascinating when he chose, and 
his ready wit may have prompted a plausible 
explanation. Moreover, Stephanie was little more 
than a child — too young to understand; and her 
father, Leopold II., was not a man into whose calcu- 
lations either sentiment or morality entered. We 
all know him as the King who neglected the Aus- 
trian Archduchess to whom he was married for such 
persons as Cleo de Merode and the Baroness 
Vaughan; and he may well have said to himself 


The Crown Prince Rudolph. 


that he saw no reason why his daughter should 
expect to be any happier in her marriage than his 
wife, or why his younger daughter should expect 
to be any happier in her marriage than her elder 

It is notorious, at any rate, that no love was ever 
lost between Leopold and either of his daughters. 
The marriages of both of them were failures; and 
anyone who has ever lived in Brussels knows how 
many stories are current there as to his callous in- 
difference to their matrimonial calamities. Again 
and again the story ran round Brussels that Princess 
Louise of Saxe-Coburg had run away from her 
husband and taken refuge at Laeken, and that her 
eyes were not only red but black : that Philip of 
Saxe-Coburg, in fact, had been knocking her about, 
and that she had vowed, with tears streaming down 
her cheeks, that nothing would induce her to return 
to him. But Leopold always sent her back; for 
why — one pictures him asking — should his daughter 
Louise expect to be any happier than his wife 
Henrietta, and why should his son-in-law be ex- 
pected to behave any better than he himself be- 
haved ? No doubt there was logic of a kind — though 
not of the best kind — in the argument. No doubt, 
too, the same logic was brought into play when 
Stephanie's marriage was arranged. 

Countess Marie protests that Stephanie was plain, 
and had no style. She speaks of her red arms, her 
deplorable figure, her unbecomingly dressed hair; 
but that is not the verdict of contemporary Brussels, 
where she was to be seen daily in the Park and the 






streets. What Brussels remembers is a little girl — 
a "flapper," as people say nowadays — simple and 
exceedingly attractive : a little girl who reminded 
Brussels of a Dresden china statuette; a little girl 
in short frocks, with her hair hanging down her 
back. She was not grown up, Brussels declares, 
when she was married; she was only dressed to 
look as if she were grown up. She was put into 
long skirts, and her hair was done up, du jour an 
lendemain, before the proper time, because this 
chance of a brilliant marriage had suddenly come 
her way. 

Presumably there was something of the gawkiness 
of the schoolgirl about her when she was thus first 
dressed as a woman. Presumably that gawkiness 
did not entirely vanish in the course of the journey 
from Brussels to Vienna, where she was certain, as 
a foreigner, to encounter far more captious criticism ; 
Vienna being nearly as chic as Paris, quite as quiz- 
zical in a heavier way, and decidedly less disposed 
to make smooth the path of the stranger. Stephanie, 
in short, must at first have seemed a little "pro- 
vincial " to the Viennese ; and there were plenty of 
Viennese ladies — Palast Damen and others — whose 
cue it was to make the worst of her, and to rejoice 
that, as Rudolph had married such a wife, "there 
was no possibility," to quote Countess Marie, " of 
his ever becoming a model husband." 

Assuredly he did not become one, and there does 
not even seem to have been an interlude of sunshine 
before the gathering of the clouds. Even the 
daughter presently born to the Archduke and the 



Archduchess is said to have been a cause of con- 
tention between them; and Stephanie, with that 
passion for self-expression which she shared with 
almost every member of the House of Habsburg 
except Francis Joseph, has written out and pub- 
lished a confession of the emotions which her expe- 
riences of marriage brought her, and the lessons 
which she drew from them. This is the essential 
passage : — 

" Two quite young persons see each other for the 
first time, know each other a quarter of an hour, and 
speak the binding word which death alone can untie. 

"If there is something beautiful in the thought 
that two human beings who love and respect one 
another are joined before God in holy matrimony, 
so there is something uncommonly repulsive in the 
idea that such a union can be formed without any 
preparation and remain a lie from the altar to the 

" I regret I was not born in humble circumstances 
in some fisherman's hamlet on the seashore. There 
one is nearer to happiness and peace than in our 
high positions and in our complex society. Happi- 
ness depends on living naturally, and what increases 
our distance from nature decreases our happiness. 

" Is it possible ? A long, long, terrible night has 
gone by for me, and I see a rosy dawn of hope on 
the clouded sky, a ray of light which tells of the 
rising sun of joy. Will the sun rise in full glory? 
Will he warm me with his rays, and dry the tears 
from my cheeks ? Come, my sun, come ! You find 
a poor faded flower whose freshness has been 
destroyed by the hard frost of fate." 

So Stephanie wrote, after the tragedy had set her 



free, and at the hour when she was about to make 
use of her freedom and seek in a marriage of her 
own choice the happiness of which she had not 
enjoyed even the illusory semblance in the marriage 
into which she was hurried "without any prepara- 
tion " — suddenly transformed from a schoolgirl into 
a grown woman — by a father to whom no sacrifice 
was too precious to be offered up on the altar of the 
Mammon of Unrighteousness. She was too young 
and innocent — too bourgeoise, perhaps — to enter 
into the spirit of the sacrifice. It was idle for any- 
one to tell her that Crown Princes would be Crown 
Princes, and that Crown Princesses who raised 
jealous objections to their doing so only made them- 
selves ridiculous; that her splendid position was 
the substance, and love only the shadow. Taught 
by instinct, she knew better. She was too simple 
to wear a mask — or, if she did sometimes wear one, 
it was continually falling off; and she was too proud 
to pretend not to see the things which were happen- 
ing under her nose. Moreover, just as there were 
women whose cue it was to make her feel provincial, 
so there were women — in many cases the same 
women — whose cue it was to make her feel neg- 

The list of the women for whom Rudolph neg- 
lected Stephanie would be long and difficult to make 
out; but Mary Vetsera is the only one who matters. 
All the world knows — and knew at the time — that 
Mary Vetsera died with Rudolph on the day of the 
mysterious Meyerling tragedy ; but there was a good 
deal of unnecessary reticence about her in the narra- 



tives written at the time. She figured as " Marie 

V ," as " a beautiful Jewess," etc., etc. ; but she 

was, as a matter of fact, a well-known member of a 
family which was at that time very well known 
indeed in Vienna. 

Her mother, the Baroness Vetsera, was nee 
Baltazzi; and the Baltazzis were people who were 
in Viennese society without being of it. Their pre- 
cise position in that society may be fixed by the fact 
that they received invitations to the bal beim Ho/, 
but not to the more intimate and exclusive bal am 
Ho/. The people who did not like them called them 
" rastas," meaning that they cut a dash, but that the 
account which they gave of their antecedents was 
not quite satisfactory to inquisitive aristocrats. 
They came from Constantinople by way of London, 
and they threw their money about. One always 
finds such people even in the most exclusive socie- 
ties : people whom Society accepts, without taking 
them to its bosom. 

Some of the brothers were — and still are — toler- 
ably well known in England, as well as in their 
own country. Alexander Baltazzi won the Derby 
with the Hungarian horse Kisber in 1876. Hector 
Baltazzi is now connected with the picture-dealing 
business, and is sometimes to be met at the Ritz 
Hotel in London — a dapper little man, standing 
with his hands in his pockets. One of the brothers 
is prosperously engaged in some mercantile under- 
taking in Roumania ; and both the sisters made good 
marriages. Evelyn married Count George Stockau ; 
and Helen, with whom we are more immediately 



concerned, married Baron Vetsera. But the reputa- 
tion of Helen, Baroness Vetsera, was not without its 
flaws; and Viennese society did not always exercise 
charity in determining its attitude towards her. It 
frequented her entertainments; but it also called 
her la Baronne Cardinal. 

Readers of Halevy's M. et Madame Cardinal 
and Les f elites Cardinal will understand the signifi- 
cance of that sobriquet. The Madame Cardinal of 
fiction was the typical mere d'actrice : a well-known 
French type, distinguished by taking a purely 
business-like view of a daughter's attraction for 
wealthy patrons of the drama. Countess Marie 
Larisch, who was everybody's confidante in the 
matter, depicts the Baroness Vetsera as a woman of 
exactly that character — albeit, of course, on a more 
exalted plane. She was not rich, she says, but was 
living on her capital, relying on her daughters as 
her assets. They must make wealthy marriages, or 
failing that 

"Will you," she asked Countess Marie, "under- 
take a very difficult mission for me ? I want you 
to talk plainly to the Prince about Mary. You 
might even give him a hint that matters might be 
arranged if he is really desperately in love with 
her. At any rate, I've no objection to discussing 
the matter with the Crown Prince." 

There we have the dots on the i's in so far as 
Mary's mother is concerned. Mary, for her, was an 
article of merchandise; and Countess Marie was, 
for her as for the Empress, a heaven-sent "go- 



between." Unfortunately, however, from the 
mother's point of view, Mary was not an ideal 
daughter. It is not impossible, Countess Marie 
thinks, that she might, in cold blood, have fallen in 
with her mother's plans. It is certainly not by 
considerations of morality, Countess Marie main- 
tains, that she would have been restrained from 
doing so ; for those considerations had already gone 
by the board in the course of an "affair" with an 
English cavalry officer in Cairo. But Mary's blood 
was, at the moment, anything but cold. She was at 
once infatuated, and vain, and wilful; and all 
three emotions — wilfulness, and vanity, and infatua- 
tion — had combined to prompt her to the same rash 
course of action. She had a chance — or, at all 
events, believed that she had one — of marrying 
Miguel of Braganza; but she preferred Rudolph. 
She threw herself at Rudolph's head, and stuck to 
him like a leech. Rudolph himself declared that 
she was not like the others — she could not be shaken 

She had begun by writing to Rudolph, imploring 
him to see her ; and he had plunged into the adven- 
ture, as he had plunged into so many previous 
adventures, with a light heart, not guessing whither 
it would lead him. She had gone on to insult the 
Crown Princess — staring her full in the face, and 
not recognising her presence in a ball-room. Her 
mother, crimson with anger — for her own social 
position was obviously imperilled by such behaviour 
on her daughter's part — had hurried her off and 
locked her up in her room; and then Rudolph, 



hearing what had happened, went to see Countess 
Marie, and required a service of her : 

" Listen. I want you to bring Mary to me at the 

" I assure you it is necessary for me to see Mary. 
Besides, I myself am in great danger." 

"I must speak to Mary alone\ it may possibly 
help me to escape the trouble which threatens me." 

Those are the essential sentences ; and they strike 
one as madly inconsequent. For why should a 
private interview with Mary be necessitated by the 
fact that Rudolph was "in danger"? How could 
such an interview help him to escape the trouble 
which threatened him, — that trouble being, as he 
went on to explain to Countess Marie, political ? 
Countess Marie does not answer these questions; 
she writes as if she did not even perceive them to 
be questions which a sceptical critic of her narrative 
would inevitably ask. She goes on, instead, to speak 
of Rudolph's political troubles, and of the part 
which he called upon her to play in covering them 

" ' Listen ! ' he said. ' If I were to confide in the 
Emperor, / should sign my own death warrant' 
My heart nearly stopped beating at this dreadful 
disclosure, and I could say nothing." 

Then Rudolph handed Countess Marie a steel 
casket which he asked her to take charge of, saying : 

" It is imperative that it should not be found in 
my possession, for at any moment the Emperor may 
order my personal belongings to be seized." 



And then : — 

" How long am I to keep this dreadful thing in 
my possession ? " 

" Until I ask for it," answered Rudolph, " or 
until someone else asks for it. If it should come 
to that," he added gravely, "you must know how 
to act. There is one person who knows the secret 
of this casket, and he alone has the right (failing 
me) to ask for its return." 

"His name?" 

" Never mind his name. You can deliver it to 
the person who can tell you four letters. Write 
them down now, and repeat them after me. Listen : 

It is as mysterious, and apparently as meaning- 
less, as any conspiracy in a melodrama or a comic 
opera; and it may be permissible to mention here 
that Countess Marie was warned, before her story 
was printed, that nobody would believe it. She 
nevertheless insisted. She could not be positive 
that the casket was of steel, because it was wrapped 
up in a covering which she did not undo. But it 
was a casket — or at any rate a box of some kind; 
and it was heavy. She afterwards handed it over, 
in circumstances to which we shall come, to the 
mysterious person who gave the mysterious pass- 
word ; and she related all this in London in a very 
matter-of-fact manner, which gave her interlocutors 
the impression that, if her story were not true, it 
would have been absolutely beyond her capacity 
to invent it. But, true or false, what relation did 
it bear to the necessity for a private interview with 
Mary at the Hofburg? 



That is what Countess Marie does not explain; 
and her failure to see that any explanation is 
required and will be demanded may perhaps be 
taken as an indirect proof of her bona fides. An 
inventor would not have failed to supply the miss- 
ing link, which neither a criminal investigator nor 
a sensational novelist would have any difficulty in 
conjecturing. Granted that Rudolph had involved 
himself in a political plot — whether to get himself 
crowned King of Hungary or for any other purpose 
— then the whole of the evidence relating to the 
plot cannot have been contained in the mysterious 
steel casket. Some further evidence — a letter or 
some other scrap of paper — must have been in Mary 
Vetsera's possession. She must have been holding 
it over Rudolph's head as an instrument of black- 
mail — demanding, perhaps, that he should divorce 
his wife and marry her; or, at all events, he must 
have suspected her of the intention to do so, and 
have wanted to get the document back from her. 
On that assumption — but on no other — the political 
necessity of the interview on which Rudolph in- 
sisted is clear. 

In any case, he did insist; and Countess Marie 
yielded to his entreaties. The allegation has been 
made that he offered her a pecuniary inducement 
to do so ; but there is no reason for believing that. 
It would have been worth his while; but it can 
hardly have been necessary. So she found a 
pretext, drove Mary to the Hofburg, and left her 
there. " I want," Rudolph said, " to keep Mary 
with me for two days, in order to come to an easy 



understanding with the Baroness over her." He 
also said, alluding to the political trouble : " A great 
deal may happen in two days, and I want Mary to 
be with me " — for what reason (seeing that, accord- 
ing to the same narrator, he had spoken of Mary 
as a woman who refused to be shaken off) we are 
left to guess. 

And so Mary was whisked away to Meyerling; 
whence the telegraph presently sped the first intima- 
tion of the famous and mysterious tragedy. 





/ muc 

of \ 


ay in 

le cit 
so w 


3 in Hig-h 1 
been flnishe 
3 expected z 


/Vhat the Archduchess Stephanie knew — What Rudolph 
knew that she knew — The search for Mary Vetsera by 
her relatives — The news of the Meyerling tragedy — The 
two official versions — The many unofficial versions — The 
attempt to hush the matter up — Mary Vetsera 's letter 
to Countess Marie Larisch. 

Meyerling was Rudolph's hunting-box in the 
|H forest, not many miles from Vienna : a hunting-box 
not used for purposes of sport alone. The Crown 
Prince had his boon companions, as well as his 
1 artistic and intellectual friends; and he used to 
I revel and drink deep with them in this secluded and 
I beautiful resort. It was also whispered that his 
| hunting-box was his Parc-aux-Cerfs : the place, at 
. ! all events, at which he made romantic assignations. 
| Rumour credited him with a good many of these : 
I assignations with society ladies, assignations with 
| gamekeepers' daughters, &c, &c. It may be, of 
■tv- ',' course, that rumour exaggerated, but there certainly 
was fire as well as smoke. 

Stephanie had been taken to Meyerling, and had 
admired its beauties. " What a lovely place to live 
she had exclaimed. " Yes, and what a lovely 

in ! " 


ayor of To] 
licatiion of 


place to die in ! " Rudolph had replied, speaking 
morbidly, but without any deliberately ominous 
intention. That in the course of the honeymoon, 
and before estrangement had begun; but estrange- 
ment had come quickly, and had continued without 
intermission. Rudolph complained that the love- 
light had never shone in Stephanie's eyes; but it 
does not seem that he tried very hard or very long 
to kindle it. Those eyes, he confided to a friend, 
" seemed incapable of expressing any feelings save 
those of wariness and suspicion " ; and the time came 
when Stephanie, as little in love with him as he with 
her, but more obedient to duty, not only suspected, 
but knew. 

And Rudolph knew that she knew. The ball- 
room scene, described in the last chapter, would 
have proved that to him, even if there had been no 
other evidence; but he was aware, as a matter of 
fact, that Stephanie had been not only watching 
him, but following him. There was a day when 
Rudolph went to visit Mary Vetsera in a hired car- 
riage, and Stephanie drove behind him, but unseen 
by him, in a carriage from the Imperial stables. She 
stopped outside the house which he had entered, 
and there changed carriages, returning to the Palace 
in his hired conveyance, and instructing the driver 
of the Imperial carriage to wait for him. It was 
quite impossible for Rudolph, after that, to flatter 
himself that his wife was ignorant of his proceed- 
ings; but there is no reason for supposing that he 
cared very much whether she was ignorant of them 
or not. 

209 p 


People have said that he wanted Stephanie to 
divorce him in order that he might be free to marry 
Mary Vetsera. The story is also told — we have 
already spoken of it — that he was plotting for the 
throne of Hungary in the belief that the Hungarians, 
who loved him, would have been willing to accept 
Mary Vetsera as their Queen; but Countess Marie 
Larisch, who is our sole first-hand authority for the 
plot, disclaims all personal knowledge of it. She 
was pressed on the point before her much-discussed 
book appeared, and her replies to the questions put 
to her were explicit. " No," she said, " I have no 
first-hand knowledge of the matter. I only repeat 
what I was told — what I heard from the Archduke 
John Salvator — what Julius Andrassy hinted — what 
was current among those who were in a position to 
know. The existence of a plot to seize the throne 
of Hungary was the only possible inference from 
their confidences." 

That is very indirect evidence, and, in the strict 
sense of the word, it is not evidence at all ; but we 
shall have to return to the story when the Archduke 
John Salvator comes upon the scene. Most likely 
there was, at any rate, some loose talk on the sub- 
ject; most likely Mary Vetsera herself had heard 
the talk and been impressed by it. A man will 
sometimes, as we all know, confide to a slip of a girl 
secrets which he jealously withholds from his most 
intimate male friends; and such a girl is very prone 
to believe anything which she wishes to believe — her 
imagination quickly transforming a vague possibility 
into a precise certainty. There is nothing, therefore, 


The Crown Princess Stephanie. 


absurd on the face of it in the theory that Mary 
Vetsera went to Meyerling in the belief that she 
would presently leave Meyerling to be crowned at 
Buda. Nor is it unlikely — for reasons given in the 
last chapter — that her hopes, and her disposition to 
chatter about them, made it urgently necessary for 
Rudolph to see her on the subject and find a means 
of putting a bridle on her tongue. 

At any rate, Mary Vetsera did go to Meyerling; 
and Countess Marie Larisch, who had taken her to 
the Hofburg and lost her there, had to explain her 
disappearance to the members of her family, and 
see if she could put them in the way of finding her. 
She describes a family gathering at which the 
Baroness Vetsera, justifying the sobriquet of 
Baronne Cardinal, displayed complete indifference 
to her daughter's adventures, but her brother, 
Alexander Baltazzi, was furious, and insisted that 
Countess Marie should accompany him to the pre- 
fecture of police. She complied; and she describes 
that interview too : a remarkable interview at which 
Alexander Baltazzi inquired indignantly whether 
the Habsburgs were to be " allowed to behave like 
common ravishers," and the Chief of the Secret 
Police replied that it was no part of his constabulary 
duty to interfere with the Crown Prince's amours. 
And then : — 

" But perhaps you don't realise," said I, " that 
this young lady belongs to the aristocracy?" 

' Then it's not one of the bourgeoisie? Oh, that's 
quite another story," replied the functionary. " Very 
well, I will see what I can do." 

211 P 2 


For the policeman, as for Windischgraetz, man- 
kind evidently began with the baron ; and he gave 
the information. " His Imperial Highness is at 
Alland," 1 he announced; but the announcement 
came too late. It had hardly been made — and no 
action had yet been taken on account of it — when 
the telegraph flashed its startling news from Meyer- 
ling to Vienna. The Crown Prince had died sud- 
denly at Meyerling — of apoplexy. 

That was the first story, officially given out; but 
it was found that it could not be maintained. People 
did not believe it — naturally enough, seeing that it 
is almost an unknown thing for a man of Rudolph's 
age to die of apoplexy. It might have obtained 
credence — or, at all events, it might have been 
upheld in the face of scepticism — if it could have 
been substantiated by a medical certificate; but 
that certificate could not be procured. The 
doctors were asked to draft and sign it; but they 
refused to do so. They were then asked at least to 
give a certificate of death from heart failure on the 
ground that failure of the heart's action played its 
part in every death; but they would not do that 
either. So that violence had to be admitted ; and an 
amended official version of the story was issued to the 
effect that the Crown Prince had committed suicide 
by shooting himself. 

Even so, public opinion was not satisfied. The 

medical certificates were called for ; and when they 

were published they were severely criticised. There 

were two such certificates, and they contradicted 

1 Alland is quite close to Meyerling. 



each other; and neither of them would have been 
accepted in an English criminal court as compatible 
with the theory of suicide. According to one certi- 
ficate, the bullet entered the head behind the ear 
and carried off the top part of the skull ; according 
to the other, it had entered by the left temple and 
issued by the right temple. The critics pointed out 
that Rudolph was most unlikely to have shot himself 
in the left temple, because he was not left-handed, 
and that it was materially impossible for him to have 
shot himself from behind. 

The inference was clear. If Rudolph had been 
shot, and had not shot himself, then he must have 
been shot by some other person. That is to say, 
either there had been an accident or he had been 
murdered. But if there had been an accident, there 
would have been no need to envelop it in mystery 
or tell certificated lies about it; so the hypothesis 
of murder held the field. But who could have mur- 
dered him, and why should he have been murdered ? 
Conjecture fastened itself on those problems, and 
found solution for them : solutions which varied 
accordingly, as the speculators knew, or did not 
know, that Mary Vetsera, as well as the Crown 
Prince, was involved in the tragedy, and that her 
death, as well as his, had to be accounted for. The 
theories which obtained the widest credence were 
the following : — 

i. Rudolph had been killed in the course of a 
drunken quarrel by one of his boon companions. 

2. Rudolph had been pursuing the daughter of a 
gamekeeper with his attentions. The gamekeeper 



had caught him in flagrante delicto, and had shot 
him without waiting to ascertain who he was. His 
body had been carried into his bedroom in the 
hunting-box, and the suicide tableau had been 
arranged in order to cover up the scandal. 

3. One of the Baltazzis, jealous of his niece's 
honour, had tracked Mary Vetsera to Meyerling, 
and had there committed the double murder. 

Not one of these three theories will hold water, 
in view of the facts which have since been brought 
to light. The first and second may be set aside on 
the ground that there is nothing in either of them 
to account for the death of Mary Vetsera. The 
third theory is incompatible with statements, the 
truth of which there is no reason to doubt, made by 
Countess Marie Larisch in " My Past." 

That, in Countess Marie's book, we have " the 
secret of Meyerling disclosed " is an exaggerated 
claim; and there are weak points in her narrative 
which it is important to enumerate. She was 
not at Meyerling at the time of the tragedy, nor 
was she present when the dead bodies were dis- 
covered. All that she tells us on that branch of 
the subject is second-hand evidence, derived from 
Count George Stockau and the Court physician, Dr. 
Wiederhofer. But there were two things, not known 
to the general public, which she did know. She 
knew : — 

1. That the Baltazzis had tried in vain to discover 
Mary Vetsera' s whereabouts. 

2. That they knew nothing of the tragedy until 
Alexander Baltazzi and his brother-in-law, Count 



George Stockau, were ordered to proceed to Meyer- 
ling, in a closed carriage, accompanied by a member 
of the secret police, and remove Mary Vetsera's 
body for secret burial in the cemetery of the 
Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz. 

"And," said the policeman, "you are to support 
the body between you in such a way as to make it 
appear that the Baroness still lives." 

The purpose of that order was clear enough. The 
matter was to be hushed up and the truth to be con- 
cealed, no matter whose feelings suffered in the 
process, in order that scandal might be avoided and 
the remnants of the Crown Prince's reputation be 
preserved. Mary Vetsera's name was not to be 
mentioned in connection with the Meyerling affair; 
but it was to be given out — all her relatives being 
parties to the deception — that she had died a natural 
death elsewhere. But that end was not achieved. 
It leaked out — as such things do leak out — that 
Mary Vetsera and the Crown Prince had died 
together; and the next thing to be done was to get 
rid of the theory of murder, and produce evidence 
in support of the theory of suicide. And here it is 
important to note that we are faced by a direct con- 
flict of testimony. 

The medical certificates, as we have seen, demon- 
strate that Rudolph did not shoot herself, but was 
shot ; but the inference which they compel was never 
formally drawn from them in any court of investiga- 
tion ; and presently letters were handed to the Press, 
in which both Rudolph and Mary Vetsera appeared 
to have announced their intention of taking their 



own lives. The first letter was from Rudolph to the 
Duke of Braganza : — 

" Dear Friend, 

" It is necessary that I should die. No 
other course is open to me. I hope you are well. 
" I remain, 

"At your service, 

" Rudolph." 

The other letter was from Mary Vetsera to her 
mother : — 

" Dear Mother, 

" I am going to die with Rudolph. We 
love each other too much. I ask your forgiveness 
and say farewell. 

" Your very unhappy 

" Mary." 

Nobody has ever regarded those letters — or other 
similar letters which have been circulated — as any- 
thing but forgeries. They impress one, indeed, not 
only as forgeries, but as clumsy forgeries. But here 
again Countess Marie Larisch makes a new con- 
tribution to the inquiry. Three weeks after Mary 
Vetsera's death, she says, she received the following 
letter, found on the bedside table at Meyerling, but 
held back by the police : — 

" Dear Marie, 

" Forgive me all the trouble I have caused. 
I thank you so much for everything you have done 
for me. If life becomes hard for you, and I fear it 
will after what we have done, follow us. It is the 
best thing you can do. 

" Your 

" Mary." 


It is a thousand pities that Countess Marie 
Larisch did not reproduce that letter in facsimile; 
for that is clearly the manner in which such docu- 
ments should be put in evidence. Had that course 
been adopted, the critic, in attempting to reconstruct 
the story, would have been able to treat the scrap of 
manuscript as the sole authoritative deposition. As 
it has not been adopted, other critics would be 
entitled to deny his right to do so ; and he can only 
give it its due place together with other evidence 
derived from other sources. Perhaps the ultimate 
result will be pretty much the same ; but we will see. 



Fantastic legends of the Meyerling tragedy — Talks with the 
Crown Prince's valet — Foolish story given by Berliner 
Lokal Anzeiger — What the Grand Duke of Tuscany 
knew — What Count Nigra knew — What Countess Marie 
Larisch tells — Her story confirmed from a contemporary 
source — Doubts which remain in spite of it — Was it 
suicide or murder? 

There are, as has been said, innumerable Meyer- 
ling legends, most of them fantastic, and not all of 
them of contemporaneous origin. The mystery has 
continued to fascinate the world; fresh solutions 
of it are continually turning up. In every newspaper 
office some stranger presents himself, from time to 
time, offering to tell the truth, as he has heard it 
from one of the very few who knew it; now and 
again the stranger's offer is accepted. But, as a 
matter of fact, all the queer stories thus circulated 
can be traced to one of two sources, — neither of them 
sources in which any confidence can be placed. 

The boon companions who were with Rudolph at 
Meyerling were Prince Philip of Saxe-Coburg, 
Count Hoyos, and Count Bombelles; and they, at 
any rate, have never taken the newspapers into their 
confidence. There were also present the Crown 



Prince's confidential valet, Loschek, and the coach- 
man nicknamed Bratfisch (or Fried Fish), who had 
endeared himself to the Crown Prince by his talents 
as a whistler. It has been stated that Bratfisch was 
sent to America, and died in a lunatic asylum in 
New York; but, as a matter of fact, he died of 
pneumonia in Vienna, in 1892. It is possible that 
he talked; but no specific statement can be traced 
to him. The case of Loschek is different. 

Loschek was indubitably a babbler. The world 
is full of men who claim to have heard the truth 
about the Meyerling tragedy from Loschek. The 
late Robert Barr, the novelist, told the present writer 
that he had heard the truth about Meyerling from 
Loschek while walking over an Alpine pass with 
him. The happy thought has often occurred to 
journalists of all nations that, if they could make 
Loschek drunk, they might extract the truth from 
him. But Loschek was wise in his generation, and 
discreet in a manner of his own. He knew that he 
could not trust himself to hold his tongue under the 
combined influence of good cheer and genial com- 
pany ; so he adopted the alternative policy of telling 
a different story to every interlocutor. It is possible 
that one of his stories may have been true; but it 
naturally passed the wit of journalists to decide 
which of them to credit. The testimony of Loschek, 
therefore, may be dismissed. 

One story in particular in which Loschek's name 
appears may be dismissed with Countess Marie 
Larisch's assistance. It was telegraphed from 
Vienna to the Berliner Lokal Anzeiger, and pur- 



ported to be based upon statements contained in a 
letter received from " Baron Louis Vetsera, brother 
of Mary Vetsera, who recently died in Venezuela." 
This Louis Vetsera, it was set forth, was one of those 
who forced the door, and discovered the dead bodies. 
The newspaper cutting was shown to Countess 
Marie, who courteously supplied the following com- 
ment : — 

" Mary Vetsera' s brother was not called Louis, but 
Ferenz (Ferry). Her eldest brother, Laszlo, was one 
of those burnt, many years ago, in the Ring Theatre. 
Ferry Vetsera was, at the time of the tragedy, only 
a boy of fourteen or fifteen years of age. He was 
not at Meyerling, nor was he one of those summoned 
there afterwards." 

That is conclusive, and shows us how history is 
sometimes made. Our other sources of information 
— trustworthy as far as they go — are in the so-called 
" confidences " of Count Nigra, the Italian Ambas- 
sador at Vienna, and Princess Louisa of Tuscan} 's 
father, the Grand Duke Ferdinand. They both saw 
Rudolph's body when laid out for burial ; and they 
both brought from the spectacle, if not a story, at 
least a theory, and the material for a story. 

" Papa said" (writes Princess Louisa), " that when 
he arrived at Vienna, Rudolph had been dead barely 
eight hours. He went into the room at the Hofburg 
where the body lay, and was horrified to see that 
the skull was smashed in, and that pieces of broken 
bottle-glass protruded from it." 

With which account we may compare the longer 



and more detailed story of Count Nigra, communi- 
cated to a representative of the Italian Corriera delta 
Sera: — 

" He was killed — and in the most awful manner. 
I had the good or bad fortune — I do not know which 
to call it — to be the first of the ambassadors to arrive 
at Meyerling on that fatal morning. The Emperor 
was not yet there. The Prince was laid out on his 
bed ; a large white bandage covered his forehead and 
temples. At the sound of my footsteps, his valet 
Loschek ran up and led me close to the dead body. 
With looks rather than with words, I interrogated 
him as to the cause of this tragedy ; and the faithful 
servant, in order to give the lie to the rumour of 
suicide which had already been spread, lifted up 
the bandage. Inside either the right or the left 
temple — my recollection on that point is vague — 
there was a hole so large that you could have thrust 
your fist into it. 

' The skull appeared to be smashed — shattered as 
if from a blow of a bottle or a big stick. It was 
horrible. The hair, the fragments of bone, had been 
driven into the brain. The wound gaped open 
beneath and behind the ear in such a fashion that 
it seemed materially impossible that it could have 
been self-inflicted. A suicide? Surely not ! It was 
an assassination — I am absolutely positive of that." 

Count Nigra, it will be observed, confirms the 
medical certificate with regard to the position of the 
wound, but does not confirm the Grand Duke's state- 
ment that broken bottle-glass protruded from it. 
Yet Count Nigra could hardly have failed to mention 
the bottle-glass if he had seen it. Probably it was 



not there; probably the reference to it is due to 
Princess Louisa's conjectural emendation of her 
father's story — or it may be that her father came to 
believe that he had seen it, because it fitted in with 
the popular legend which had become current. 

That legend was, as is well known, that Rudolph 
had been killed with a blow from a champagne bottle 
in a quarrel which broke out in the course of a 
drunken orgy. According to some witnesses — if one 
can call them witnesses — the blow was struck by one 
of the boon companions. According to others, it was 
struck by Mary Vetsera herself, after a scene of 
jealousy; and the part which the boon companions 
played in the drama was to shoot Mary Vetsera. 
It cannot be said that Count Nigra's description of 
the wound really confirms either version of the story. 
He made no scientific examination of the skull, but 
only glanced at it hurriedly; and the inferences 
which he drew from his hurried inspection may very 
well have been mistaken. But he talked; and his 
talk was obviously the ultimate source of all the 
various versions of the champagne bottle legend. 
They are all based upon that talk; and one can find 
no corroborative evidence of any one of them. 

There is, in particular, no evidence that there was 
any drunken orgy whatsoever at Meyerling, or that, 
if there was, either Rudolph or Mary Vetsera took 
part in it. On the contrary, it was alleged by the 
boon companions, and assumed by the physicians, 
that the tragedy took place behind closed doors : 
that Rudolph, declaring himself to be fatigued, re- 
tired early to the apartment in which Mary — of whose 



presence at Meyerling the boon companions were 
unaware — was awaiting him. That is what Countess 
Marie Larisch says — her informant being Pro- 
fessor Wiederhof er ; and her narrative corresponds, 
in all essentials, with the story told by the special 
investigator of the French paper L! Eclair. This is 
what the latter inquirer tells us : — 

" The guests came home late from shooting, and 
soon retired to their several rooms, the Crown Prince 
having complained of fatigue. He left them to go 
to his own room, where Mary Vetsera had been 
brought, without their knowledge, by the coachman 
Bratfisch. The party did not sup together, and no 
one else was at Meyerling that night. 

" In the morning the Duke and the Count, 
astonished that the Archduke did not come down, 
and feeling uneasy because there was no response 
when they knocked at his door, caused the door to 
be forced. They saw the two corpses lying on the 
bed. The double suicide was evident. In their 
amazement, and in the hope of avoiding scandal, 
they wished to hush the matter up. They wished it 
to be believed that there had been an accident in 
the hunting field; so they spread a report to that 
effect, and, in order to gain credence for it, they 
caused Mary Vetsera's body, fully dressed, to be 
removed in circumstances of mystery." 

The differences between this narrative and that 
of Countess Marie Larisch are of minor importance; 
the resemblances are striking. In particular it is to 
be noted that we get from the French journalist a 
contemporary confirmation of Countess Marie's 
account of the mysterious disposal and burial of 



Mary Vetsera's body. 1 Countess Marie adds many 
gruesome details ; but the story which she supports 
is one which had already been published, albeit in 
an obscure quarter and without attracting attention. 
Even the detail that the body was dressed for re- 
moval was, as we have seen, in the Frenchman's 

We may take it as established, therefore, that the 
tragedy — whether murder or suicide — did, in fact, 
take place behind closed doors. There were no wit- 
nesses of what happened there ; and the circum- 
stantial evidence is, as we have seen, conflicting — 
the considerations which have to be balanced 
against each other being these : — 

i. Both Rudolph and Mary Vetsera are said to 
have written letters announcing their intention of 
dying together. 

2. The description of Rudolph's wound, given in 
the medical certificates, indicates that it could not 
have been self-inflicted ; and this view is confirmed 
by the testimony of Count Nigra. 

On the whole it is the medical testimony which 
inspires the greater confidence. The certificates 
were challenged at the time; and the doctors 
then pledged their professional honour that they 
had signed nothing which was not in accordance with 
the facts — though they had no responsibility for the 
inferences drawn from the facts. The letters, on 
the other hand, are not all genuine; and even 
Countess Marie Larisch's letter is, at the most, only 

1 The same story was also told, long ago, in Paris, to 
Mrs. Clarence Andrews, by Alexander Baltazzi. 



THii Baroness Mary Vetsera. 


evidence of what the lovers intended, or of what 
Mary Vetsera wished to be believed, but not con- 
clusive proof of the way in which things actually 
happened. So that we are obliged to consider a 
possible alternative to the theory of double suicide. 
Did Mary Vetsera kill her lover and then take 
her own life — after first writing a letter to throw 
dust in the eyes of the world? Can we find any 
motive which might have induced her to do so ? 

A motive can be found ; and it is in Countess 
Marie Larisch's narrative that one finds it. That 
story which she tells of a conspiracy to usurp 
the throne of Hungary may perhaps supply the 

Suppose there had been, if not a plot in the full 
sense of the word, at least some loose talk and some 
compromising correspondence. Suppose Mary was 
" in it," and really believed what she wished to be- 
lieve — that the conspirators meant business, and 
that Rudolph was really working to have her 
crowned Queen of Hungary. Suppose Rudolph 
had said things — and written things — which gave 
some encouragement to that belief. Suppose 
Rudolph had realised the impossibility of the 
enterprise before finally embarking on it, and had 
contrived this secret interview for the purpose of 
telling Mary that he could not keep his promise — 
that she could only be his mistress on the same foot- 
ing as any other mistress — and of recovering from 
her any documentary proof of his disloyal designs 
which she may have held. 

If we may make those suppositions — and we need 

225 Q 


them all if we are to attach any meaning to 
Rudolph's representation to Countess Marie that an 
interview with Mary might help him to avoid a 
mysterious peril — then we have all the material for 
a credible reconstruction of the drama. We picture 
Mary going to the rendez-vous with gloriously am- 
bitious hopes, only to find the promised cup of hap- 
piness dashed from her lips; and we picture love 
momentarily turned to hate by the bitter blow of 
the disappointment. We see her pleading with 
Rudolph and reproaching him, and Rudolph, on his 
part, protesting his affection, but nevertheless oppos- 
ing a sullen resistance to her entreaties. The rest 
of the scene proceeds as in a melodrama. 

On the table by the bedside lies Rudolph's pistol 
— the pistol which Rudolph always carried. Mary 
picks it up in an access of frenzy — or possibly of 
jealousy, for it is quite possible that she, as well 
as Stephanie, had grounds for jealousy — vows that 
she will be avenged, and pulls the trigger. Rudolph 
falls, and she is horrified at the spectacle of her 
crime. She had forgotten — but now she realises — 
all that it means and all the consequences which it 
must entail for her. Love and fear impel her in 
the same direction, and drive her to the same act. 
She feels that she has no choice but to follow 
Rudolph into eternity, whether by firing a second 
shot or by swallowing a dose of poison. That 
assuredly is how a Jttge d' Instruction, given the facts 
which we have had before us, would be tempted to 
" reconstitute the crime " — and also to explain the 



A melodramatic reconstitution doubtless; but 
that fact does not deprive it of credibility. Melo- 
dramas do happen, in real life as well as on the 
stage. We read of them in newspapers nearly as 
often as we witness them in theatres. Moreover, 
in this case, the whole story is melodramatic, 
and no interpretation of it is so improbable that it 
must necessarily be rejected. There are, of course, 
alternative possibilities. The first shot may have 
been fired by accident; and Mary Vetsera may have 
fired it as the first act in a concerted double suicide. 
But that she did fire it — whether by accident or by 
design — whether in a fit of passion or deliberately by 
agreement — seems as certain, if we believe the 
medical froces-verbaux, as anything connected with 
the mystery can ever be. 

That is all that there is to be said about it; and 
perhaps it is all that can ever be known about it. 
What happened behind closed doors can, in the 
nature of the case, only be a matter of inference; 
and one is bound to come back to the fact that all 
the documentary evidence indirectly bearing on the 
tragedy is open to suspicion. The evidential diffi- 
culties, in short, may be summed up thus : — 

i . Two medical certificates give two different de- 
scriptions of the wound. 

2. The description of the wound given in both 
medical certificates differs from the description of it 
by Count Nigra, who, at any rate, had no motive 
for deceiving anyone. 

3. While the descriptions of the wound are in- 
compatible with the theory of suicide, correspond- 

227 Q 2 



ence in which the intention to commit suicide is 
clearly set forth has been published ; but 

4. The only one of those letters of the authenticity 
of which there is any evidence, may have been 
written with deliberate intent to deceive. 

5. There is no agreement among those who quote 
the letters as to their exact text. The versions of 

the letters given in these pages are by no means the M 
only versions which have been current. There are 
other longer versions, and versions which differ from 
those here preferred in various particulars. Even, 
therefore, if we could be sure that we had to do 
with genuine documents, the question would still 
remain whether the documents had not been 

So we must leave the mystery, offering our own mM 
reconstruction of the drama for what it may be J 
worth, but, at the same time, declining to accepti 
without reserve the story currently told that the fulfl 
and final solution of the secret is locked up, at thM 
Hofburg, in an iron chest, which is to be opened afteH 
the lapse of fifty years. And yet even that storm 
is not quite impossible; for there are two secrets^ 
indicated by rumour, which may conceivably bej 
guarded thus, with a view to disclosure at a time! 
when the events to which they relate are remotcfl 
enough to be treated as history : — 

1. It was whispered, at one time, that the traged)B 
of Meyerling was due to the discovery that Rudolphl 
and Mary were really brother and sister : that is tol 
say, that Francis Joseph was really Mary's father 
The alleged iron chest might conceivably contain* 




an A 
ful fi 
ige i 
6 tr 
an I 
nig v 
. Th 


Francis Joseph's acknowledgment of that relation- 

2. There is the rumour of which Countess Marie 

Larisch makes so much, of the plot to seize the 

Hungarian throne; and it is not inconceivable that 

the alleged iron chest may contain some secret 

J police report bearing upon that subject. 

Those are the possibilities — one can think of no 
others; and they are, both of them, exceedingly 
remote. The former of the two rumours, which is 
JJnot, in any case, at all well accredited, strikes one 
$as incompatible with the Baroness Vetsera's alleged 
1 willingness that a liaison between her daughter and 
tr the Crown Prince should be " arranged." Not only 
H might the idea of such a thing have been expected 
i; to revolt her, she would also have felt that she had 
" claims " on the Emperor which dispensed her from 
1 the necessity of exploiting her daughter by such 
nvmeans. The latter rumour must be regarded as 
i8 improbable on the ground that, if the alleged con- 
spiracy had really existed, the secret would hardly 
io have been so well kept for so long. 

And yet the suggestion, though improbable, is not 
n quite impossible. The secret police of Vienna are 
livery suspicious and acute; and they are also as 
corr.inscrupulous as they are polite. The idea that there 
m ever was an actual plot worthy to be called a plot 
rrr must indeed be discarded for the reasons already 
to set forth ; but the idea that there was loose talk and 
"Compromising correspondence of a quasi-seditious 
character is not so fantastic. The secret police may 
• have opened letters, or overheard conversations, or 


hersel 22 9 

y imr 
n to a 
he sto 
It a 
een II 



even received information. If they had done so, they 

IfC would naturally have reported their discoveries, even 

^ 9 * if these were rather intangible; and if it be true that 

jtf there is, at the Hofburg, an iron chest, to be opened 

J in the fulness of time, bearing upon the Meyerling 

1Y\ affair, a report of the kind indicated is, after all, the 

* thing most likely to be found in it. 

iltl' The blow, however — whatever he knew or did not 

[/, th know — was bound, in any case to be a terrible one 

at c to Francis Joseph. When Count Hoyos drove up 

r^ha' 1 ' * n a s l e i& n in the early morning with the news, he 

a Wet broke down and sobbed. Then he mastered him- 

n, £ at T self, and gave the necessary orders, and presently 

hac issued this proclamation to his people : — 


' le " Deeply moved by a sorrow too profound for 
Jeu \sic words, I humbly bow before the inscrutable decrees 
v '* x ' of a Providence which has chosen to afflict myself 
iay pi and my people, and I pray to Almighty God to grant 
tderr. to us all the courage to bear the load of our irrepar- 
rise. able loss." 
til fk 

And to his Hungarian Prime Minister Tisza, he 
wrote : — 

e as 

f\d j " I have lost everything. I had placed my hope 
4j j and my faith in my son. There remains to me now 
nothing but the sentiment of duty, to which I hope 
to remain faithful as long as my aged bones support 


D Li 
r Pin 

g8 * a \ He must have thought, indeed, at that hour, that 
md I the cup of his sorrows was full, and that the curse 
yard* at i ast had done with him. But it was not so. 

-der D 23O 

safe d 
be che< 
u are r 


In spite of that devotion to duty to which he had 
pledged himself, calamity after calamity was still 
to be heaped upon his head. Our story of the 
Tragedy of Meyerling has to be followed by the 
story of the tragic disappearance of John Orth. 


; er withoi; 
I Action 


redith, C. 
, J. A., 

io v. Tow 


The Archduke John Salvator — His many accomplishments — 
His criticisms of his superiors — His disgrace at Court — 
His love affair with an English lady — "Your darling 
Archduckling " — His proposal to abandon his rank and 
earn his living as a teacher of languages — His love 
affair with Milly Stubel — He quarrels with Francis 
Joseph, takes the name of John Orth, and leaves 

"John Orth," as we shall have to call him, was 
the Archduke John Salvator : the brother of the 
Grand Duke of Tuscany — the uncle of the Arch- 
duke who was to become " Herr Wulfling," and of 
the Princess who was to marry Signor Toselli. This 
is the branch of the House of Habsburg which has 
been most conspicuous in its revolt against the 
Habsburg traditions; and the Archduke John 
Salvator's place among them is that of the first of 
the family rebels. He was not only a rebel in love ; 
he also caused trouble, and got into trouble, as 
soldier and politician. 

He was a man of many accomplishments : one 
who " fancied himself," not only as a soldier, and 
a sailor, and a pamphleteer, but also as a musical 
composer. He composed a waltz, which enjoyed a 



great vogue, not only in Vienna; and then, sus- 
pecting that its popularity might be due to his 
rank, he decided to compose something more am- 
bitious, and produce it anonymously. The great 
work was a ballet — Les Assassins — which was duly 
staged at the Vienna Opera as the production of a 
new and unknown man. Its anonymity would not 
have impaired its prospects if the Vienna Opera had 
had a Press agent who knew his business as the 
modern Press agents know theirs. Dark hints, mys- 
teriously whispered, would then have stimulated the 
curiosity of the public and invited the applause of 
the connoisseurs and leaders of opinion. But the 
Press agents did not know their business — perhaps 
there were no Press agents in those days; and the 
ballet itself, though pretty good for an Archduke, 
did not come up to the standard of professional 
musicians. Its reception was chilly, and its run 
was short; so the Archduke John Salvator turned 
his activity into other channels. 

While little more than a boy he became a 
military critic and a political agitator, publishing his 
first pamphlet on the organisation of the Austrian 
army when he was no more than twenty-one. The 
gist of his remarks was that the Austrian military 
system had got into a rut, and that the Austrian 
artillery was defective. Incidentally, too, he 
criticised the conduct of the Austrian Foreign 
Office; and the Foreign Minister made representa- 
tions, with the result that the Archduke was sent to 
Cracow, to be out of the way. In his exile, however, 
he wrote more pamphlets, setting forth that the 



frontier fortifications were valueless, and that the 
War Minister did not know his business. He also 
lectured at the Military Club on the Austrian system 
of military education, which he declared to be 
wooden, and to deprive the soldiers of all initiative 
and resource. That lecture was a veiled attack 
upon the Archduke Albert, the victor of Custozza ; so 
the Archduke John Salvator was once more politely 
exiled — this time to a command at Linz. 

Decidedly this Archduke was frondeur, with 
inclinations towards Liberalism; and there were 
precedents for those inclinations in his family. He 
was the grandson of that Grand Duke of Tuscany 
who put an end to the Inquisition in his dominions ; 
and an ancestor of his had been the first legitimate 
potentate to recognise the French Republic after 
the Revolution. Nothing was more natural, there- 
fore, than that he should have a good word to say for 
the Austrian rebels of 1848; though it was inevitable 
that his praise of them should shock conservative 
circles. So he sulked at Linz, while officialdom 
sulked at Vienna ; and there was further commotion 
when he posed his candidature, without asking the 
Emperor's leave, for the vacant throne of Bulgaria. 
The Crown Prince was sent to him, to inform him 
that he had incurred Francis Joseph's displeasure ; 
and he was stripped even of his rights over his own 
regiment of artillery. 

If he and Rudolph did, as Countess Marie 
Larisch suggests, put their heads together and talk 
about a coup d'etat and the usurpation of the throne 
of Hungary, that punishment may well have fur- 



nished the starting point of their treasonable con- 
fabulations. The two Archdukes were close friends 
and kindred spirits : among other enterprises, they 
had combined to expose the spiritualistic medium, 
Harry Bastian, to the horror and disgust of the 
superstitious sections of Viennese society. More- 
over, the Archduke John Salvator may be supposed 
to have sympathised with Rudolph's love affairs, for 
he had, as we are about to see, a very similar love 
affair of his own. These facts no doubt furnish 
a prelude, more or less fitting, to his appearance in 
Countess Marie Larisch's narrative as the mysterious 
stranger to whom she handed Rudolph's steel casket 
of compromising documents; and if Countess 
Marie's recollection of what he said to her on that 
occasion is correct, he was himself the principal 
person whom those documents might have com- 
promised : — 

" Never mind," she reports him as saying. 
' Things have happened for the best; you could 
not save a coward like Rudolph, but you've saved 
my life." 

And he added that he was going to " die without 
dying," because he was " tired of the hollow things 
of life"; and her comment is : — 

"Has he died without dying? I think so. And 
I believe that the Archduke, despite all evidence 
to the contrary, will return in his own good time." 

And Princess Louisa of Tuscany, it is to be noted, 
says pretty much the same. To her also, and to her 



brother Leopold, the Archduke John Salvator an- 
nounced his intentions : — 

" I am about to disappear, my dear children, and 
I shall do so in such a manner that no one will ever 
find me. When the Emperor is dead I will return, 
for then Austria will require my services." 

And her comment is : — 

" Papa was convinced to the day of his death that 
his brother was alive ; and, as time proves all things, 
the Emperor's death will perhaps solve the mystery, 
for Austria may then require the services of John 
Orth in the international complications which will 
no doubt follow." 

But all that is mere conjecture; and the conjec- 
tures belong to a later stage of the story. The 
solid fact to be set down here is that the Archduke 
John Salvator, having received the signification of 
Francis Joseph's displeasure, sought and obtained 
Francis Joseph's permission to quit the Austrian 
army, and retired to live quietly at his Castle of 
Orth, on the shores of the Lake of Gmunden. But 
his position and aspirations had, meanwhile, been 
complicated by a love affair with a fascinating nymph 
of the ballet. 

It was not his first love affair : the woman who first 
taught the Archduke John Salvator to love was 
English. He met her, when he was only a lieu- 
tenant of hussars, on an Austrian Lloyd steamer, 
in the course of a journey from Port Said to 
Trieste. One of his letters to her has got into 
the hands of those who collect such things; and it 



shows us the Archduke already cherishing the dream 
dreamt by so many Habsburgs of flying from pomp 
in order to indulge an honourable passion, and prov- 
ing himself as capable as any meaner man of sup- 
porting a family by honest toil. It will be seen that 
he expresses his contempt for his illustrious title by 
a pretty play upon words. This is the com- 
munication : — 

" Most darlingest of angel girls. I must lavish on 
you terms of endearment. You are my loveliest 
love, mia cara carissima, ma -petite cherie, my own 
sweet rose of Kent. I thought myself often in love 
before I had the happiness to meet you, but was 
mistaken. You fill my soul as nobody else has ever 
done. I am in despair at being told I must not 
pay you further attention. My Imperial rank stands 
in the way, say you and your honoured mother, of 
courtship four le bon motif. It should, did I not 
realise the utter vanity of being penned up with a 
tribe of seventy relatives on an isolated peak. I 
hate my position, and am determined to live as a 
man should, and not like a poor creature who must 
be spoon-fed from the cradle to the grave. It 
depends on you whether I shall go on as an 'arch- 
duckling' or not. You spoke of the sad life of 
Penny Smith. Yes, it was a sad one; but why? 
The Prince of Capua had not the manliness to go 
and work for a living for himself and his wife. My 
courage is equal to emigrating to Australia, where 
I am sure I should fall on my feet. I could be a 
manager of a theatre, a teacher of French, German, 
Italian, or the curator of a zoo or a botanical garden, 
or I could be a riding-master or a stock-rider. 
Without going so far as Australia, I might get 



married in Italy to the girl of my choice. I was 
born a Tuscan, and the statutes of the grand- 
ducal family are dead letters there. As you can 
never be an Archduchess, I shall be only too happy 
to cease to be an Archduke, but hope ever to be 
counted your darling Arch-duckling. 

" Johann. 

" or, since you like my soft Italian name, 

Giovanni — but not on any account (Don) Juan." 

It is, in very truth, a remarkable document; but 
it is the sort of document which never surprises one 
when emanating from a Habsburg pen — and perhaps 
ought not to surprise one when emanating from any 
royal or imperial pen. In the House of Habsburg, 
as in many other royal and imperial houses — and 
notably those of the Wittelsbachs and the Neapoli- 
tan Bourbons — we find many men and women who 
have combined great ardour in love with a passionate 
desire for the domestic tranquillity of the common 
lot, and the lives of obscure citizens of the middle 
classes. Examples which occur on the spur of the 
moment are those of Queen Cristina of Spain, who 
married ex-Private Munoz, the son of a Madrid 
tobacconist, and played parlour games in the Palace 
with that tobacconist and his family; of Queen Cris- 
tina's sister, the Duchesse de Berry, who married, 
en secondes noces, the impecunious young diplomat, 
Lucchesi-Palli, and bore him innumerable children ; 
of that Archduke John, who was united so happily to 
the daughter of the village postmaster; of that Arch- 
duke Henry, whose wife, Leopoldine Hoffmann, the 
actress, was created Countess of Waldeck. 



Such were the exemplars — though one could name 
many more — whose temperament and tastes the 
Archduke John Salvator shared; but his advances, 
as both the letter and the sequel show, did not this 
time inspire confidence. The lady, it seems, did not 
love him for himself alone — saw no beauty in the 
prospect of becoming the bride of a teacher of 
languages, or a riding-master, or the curator of the 
Zoological Gardens at Sydney or Melbourne; and 
perhaps she was, from the worldly point of view, 
wise. Habsburgs who are ready to turn their hands 
to anything have sometimes had to turn their hands 
to very menial occupations. Within the last few 
years an appeal was made to Francis Joseph to do 
something for a Habsburg — a descendant of the 
Archduke Ernest — who had fallen (or risen) to be 
head waiter in a cafe at Buda-Pesth. The lady 
whom the Archduke John Salvator had once pro- 
posed to support in modest comfort by means of 
honest toil may since perhaps have heard of that 
incident with curiously mixed emotions. 

At all events, she did not marry the Archduke — 
her mother, as appears from the letter, intervening; 
and he, on his part, did not keep single for her sake 
— or, at all events, did not keep unattached. 
Princess Louisa tells us that he wanted to marry her, 
his niece, the future bride of Signor Toselli; but 
that is as it may be. His desire to do so was, at 
any rate, kept under control. One thinks of him 
rather as one of those Habsburgs whom the bare 
idea of consanguineous marriage revolts; and one 
knows that he met his fate, in a sentimental sense, 



while shooting with some of his brother officers in 
the Semmering district. One cannot do better than 
borrow the poetical picture of the scene presented 
to us by his biographer, Mme. de Faucigny- 
Lucinge : — 

" It was one of those moments when the human 
soul feels the need of fusion and communion with 
the mysteries of nature. The Prince was walking in 
a favourite path of his- — a discreet refuge in which 
his companions had always been accustomed to leave 
him alone. Of a sudden he found himself in the 
presence of a girl whose delicate features and pen- 
sive gaze attracted his attention. Her eyes were 
gentle, and her lips were lighted with a smile. As 
he overheard her talking with her parents, it seemed 
to the Archduke that he had long been familiar with 
that melodious voice, so fraught with enchantment 
to all who listened to it; for the things which most 
delight us always seem like reminiscences of some 
previous life." 

Nothing happened, however, at the moment. The 
Archduke passed by without speaking — too shy to 
speak, perhaps, though that, in the light of the letter 
which we have just read, is not very easy to believe ; 
but he did not forget. To quote the same nar- 
rator : — 

" His thoughts came back, again and again, to the 
girl who had appeared to him in such poetical cir- 
cumstances, in an Autumn twilight. He wanted to 
know who she was ; and having learnt that her home 
was in Vienna, where she lived with her parents, and 
that her name was Milly Stiibel, and that she was 
one of the artistes employed at the Opera, he sought 



and found an opportunity of meeting her again. 
Every time that he met her, it was a fresh pleasure 
to him to remark the originality and the attractive 
complexity of her gifted nature. Soon they were 
passing long hours in each other's society; and it 
was the unspeakable joy of musical harmony which 
attached him, for ever more, to Milly; for music is 
far more eloquent than words." 

One has no difficulty in believing it; for that is 
what the Habsburgs are like. One after another, 
they find their way to the common lot by taking a 
perfectly sincere and simple interest in the ordinary 
occupations and amusements of ordinary people. 
Sometimes those interests are domestic, as in the 
case of the Archduke Charles Ferdinand, who is 
said to have proposed marriage in the kitchen ; they 
sometimes are artistic, as in the case of Princess 
Louisa of Tuscany, who was at the piano when she 
first spoke of love to Signor Toselli. So that it 
was quite in conformity with the family traits that 
the Archduke John Salvator should forget his rank, 
in order to talk musical criticism with the ballet- 
girl; and it was equally in accordance with the 
family traits that the talk should soon become 
affectionately intimate. 

They talked of marriage : to the Austrian ballet- 
girl, as to the English lady, the Archduke spoke 
of his ability to earn a competence by the sweat of 
his brow- — not, this time, as a teacher of languages 
or a keeper of wild beasts, but as a skipper in the 
merchant service. In a sense it was idle talk, for 
he had money enough in the bank to keep both 

241 R 


himself and a wife in comfort; but he wanted the 
common lot, and labour, as well as matrimony, was 
a part of it. Nor was he making an empty boast; 
for he had passed the tests, and held a master 
mariner's certificate. That was the condition of 
things with him when, not long after the Meyerling 
tragedy, he had his final quarrel with Francis 

The ultimate grounds and the immediate occasion 
of that quarrel remain uncertain. From Countess 
Marie Larisch's narrative one would gather that, 
whatever the proximate cause may have been, the 
final cause was the Hungarian plot. Princess 
Louisa, on the other hand, has a story that Francis 
Joseph ordered him to apologise for language which 
he had used to the Archduke Albert, and that he 
refused to do so. Both stories may be true; and 
the Archduke's determination to marry an opera 
nymph may also have been a contributory cause of 
disagreement. The actual scene is described by 
Princess Louisa, who may be supposed to have had 
her information from the Archduke himself : — 

" Uncle John " (she tells us) " said in his bold way 
that he would leave the army and the Court rather 
than be dictated to, and he concluded by declaring 
that he did not care in the least whether he was a 
member of the Imperial House. A storm followed 
this rank apostasy, and my uncle, in a fit of un- 
governable rage, tore off his Order of the Golden 
Fleece, and flung it at the Emperor." 

The Emperor, as may be supposed, was not 
melted, but rather hardened, by that appeal to his 



feelings; so that, when the Archduke presently 
announced his desire to resign his rank and 
titles, take the name of " John Orth," and leave 
Austria, Francis Joseph replied that he might take 
any name he chose, and go where he liked, but that, 
if he ever attempted to return, he would find that 
the Austrian police had orders to arrest him as soon 
as he crossed the frontier. Those were the circum- 
stances in which he departed; and Milly Stiibel 
departed with him. He could not marry her in 
Austria, but he had promised to marry her in 

243 R 2 


John Orth — Had he been plotting- with Rudolph? — Indirect 
confirmation of story told by Countess Marie Larisch — 
Did John Orth really marry Milly Stiibel — Failure to 
find the proofs of the marriage — John Orth's letters 
written on the eve of his departure for America — Dis- 
appearance of his ship off Cape Horn — Is John Orth 
really dead — Examination of the reasons for believing 
that he is still alive. 

We will now definitely call John of Tuscany 
John Orth; but a cloud of uncertainty overhangs 
both his assumption of that name and his subse- 
quent adventures. Ostensibly he assumed the 
name, and shook the dust of Austria off his feet, 
to please himself; but there are not wanting those 
who declare that, if he had not resigned his rank, 
he would have been deprived of it, and that he 
only banished himself because the Emperor had 
threatened to banish him. 

The narrative of Princess Louisa does not help 
us much. Princess Louisa only knows what her 
uncle told her, and he evidently told her very little. 
It is reasonable to trust her for the passionate scene 
in Francis Joseph's cabinet; but that is all. She 
was only a girl of twenty when she heard of it, 



and there was no reason why the hidden causes of 
the scene should be confided to her. Nor does 
one get much light from Countess Marie Larisch's 
story of the plot to seize the throne of Hungary, if 
one accepts her version of that story; for, if all 
the evidence relating to that plot was contained in 
the mysterious steel casket, then Francis Joseph 
would have known nothing of it, and John Orth 
would have had nothing to fear when once the 
casket was in his hands. 

But was all the evidence of that plot contained 
in that steel casket? Had not a portion of it found 
its way, by some means or other, into the hands of 
the Austrian secret police? That is our problem; 
and it will be useful to turn back to the half- 
forgotten gossip of the time, and see if we can find 
in it any indications that Countess Marie Larisch's 
"revelation" has, at least, "something in it." 

We can. It was assumed by Countess Marie's 
reviewers, when her book appeared, that her story 
connecting John Orth's departure with the Meyer- 
ling tragedy was, whether true or not, at all events 
quite new. But that assumption was erroneous. 
Countess Marie was only putting the dots on the i's 
— whether she put the right dots on the right i's or 
not — of a contemporaneous rumour. One may find 
the rumour in a work entitled The Private Life of 
Two Emperors — William II. of Germany and 
Francis Joseph of Austria — published in the United 
States, nine years ago, and written, as the pub- 
lisher's note states, as far back at 1899. It pos- 
sesses no sort of authority; one dares not go to it 



for "inside information"; but it does reflect — for 
what it is worth — the gossip of the hour. This is 
what the writer says : — 

" There is, it may be added also, a story as to 
the Archduke's disappearance which I have never 
yet seen in print. It connects his exile and his dis- 
appearance from the ranks of the members of the 
Imperial family of Austria with the tragedy of 
Meyerling and the death of Crown Prince Rudolph. 
It is difficult to account for the origin thereof, except 
for the fact which I have just mentioned that the 
two Archdukes had already once quarrelled, and 
had been prevented from fighting a duel only by 
the intervention of the Emperor. There could, 
therefore, be no longer any love lost between them. 
Moreover, Archduke Rudolph died at Meyerling in 
the early part of 1889; Archduke John left Austria 
and relinquished his military and imperial dignities 
during that same year, after having been suspended 
from his divisional command just about the time of 
the tragedy at Meyerling." 

What is important here is the rumour itself ; the 
inferences drawn from it by the writer do not matter. 
The suggestion that John Orth was directly con- 
cerned with Rudolph's death is obviously no more 
than a conjectural explanation of the rumour. How, 
people were evidently asking themselves, could 
John Orth's departure be associated with Rudolph's 
death except on the assumption that he had done, 
or procured, a deed of violence? Countess Marie's 
story at least accounts for the association without 
invoking that hypothesis; and it also accounts for 
the quarrel between the two Archdukes. It was a 



quarrel, according to her, between conspirators — the 
one eager to press forward, and the other frightened 
into wishing to hang back; and though one gathers 
from one page of Countess Marie's book that the 
secret of the conspiracy was locked up in the steel 
casket, one reads on another page that the Ministers 
had an inkling of it. That fact transpires in her 
account of her interview with Count Julius 
Andrassy : 

" Count Andrassy " (she writes) " said plainly that 
something beyond a love drama was responsible for 
the tragedy; the Archduke John corroborated this 
statement, and the affair of the steel box makes me 
absolutely certain of it." 

Count Andrassy, that is to say, knew something, 
but did not choose to tell Countess Marie how much 
he knew. What was known to him was presumably 
known to the Emperor too; and their joint know- 
ledge may have been enough to induce them 
to drive John Orth into exile with menaces. Still, 
though the conjecture is plausible, certainty is 

Nor is certainty attainable with regard to John 
Orth's alleged marriage to the ballet-girl, Milly 
Stubel. The stock statement is to the effect that 
he married her in London ; but none of those who 
make the statement have seen the " marriage lines/' 
They have been sought for ; but the search has been 
unavailing. 1 One suspects that a ceremony of some 

1 Mr. Eveleigh Nash, the publisher, assures the author that 
he has himself engaged in the investigation very carefully, but 
with purely negative results. 



sort was performed somewhere — four acquit de 
conscience — but that it was a ceremony without 
legal value. One only gets back to certainty when 
one comes to speak of John Orth's voyage to the 
New World, whither he set sail, on his own ship, the 
Sainte-Marguerite, on March 26, 1890. But he 
had passed by way of Switzerland ; and it was while 
he was in Switzerland that he and Francis Joseph 
exchanged their last communications. That story 
has been told, in the Berliner Tagblatt, by Marshal 
Czanadez, at that time attached to the Emperor's 
military cabinet : — 

"John Orth" (Marshal Czanadez wrote) "had 
hardly left the Empire for Switzerland when the 
Emperor instructed me to follow him, to deliver a 
letter to him, and to induce him to return to Vienna. 
I fulfilled my mission; but I could not influence the 
Archduke. He told me that he wished to live on 
his private means in accordance with his tastes. 
He said that he had a capital sum of 70,000 florins, 
and proposed to lay it out to the best advantage. 
Seeing that he would not listen to my arguments, 
I took Francis Joseph's letter from my pocket and 
handed it to him. He ran his eyes over it and 
turned pale. Trembling with emotion, he handed 
the letter back to me and pointed to a passage in 
which the Emperor told him that his renunciation 
of the title of Archduke was accepted, but that he 
must never set foot in Austria-Hungary again. My 
mission was terminated. I returned to Vienna, 
told the Emperor its result, and informed him of 
the details of my conversation with the Archduke. 
The Emperor made no remark." 



It seems a little confused. The bearer of a letter 
forbidding John Orth to return to Austria can 
hardly have been instructed to try to persuade 
him to return there; so one scents inaccuracy. All 
that is established is that there were negotiations 
of some sort, even after John Orth had passed the 
frontier. We must make what we can of that im- 
perfect information; and we must also make what 
we can — which is not much — of the letters in which 
John Orth himself bade his friends farewell. In a 
letter written to Herr Heinrich, on December 8, 
1889, we find him protesting against constructions 
which have been placed upon his conduct : — 

" I give you my word of honour " (he writes) 
" that my relations with our illustrious and benevo- 
lent sovereign have undergone no change. The 
impossibility of my return to the army must not, 
any more than my own resolution, be attributed to 
him. . . . 

..." Francis Joseph's behaviour in the matter 
has been that of a magnanimous, just, and noble 
monarch. I have received from the hands of 
M. Csanadez of the Military Chancellery, the letter 
granting my request; but that letter forbade me to 
return to my own country without special permis- 
sion. Hard as I find that condition, I recognise 
that it is not an act of excessive or exaggerated 
severity. No dynasty can allow one of its members 
to live the life of a bourgeois in his own country 
without his Emperor's leave. 

"What really troubled me was the order inti- 
mated to me by the order of the Minister of the 
Imperial Household to get myself naturalised in 



Switzerland. What a cruel dilemma was that ! 
On the one hand I should have liked to demon- 
strate my gratitude and affection to the Emperor 
by acting in accordance with his wishes. On the 
other hand I was anxious to continue to be his sub- 
ject, partly on account of my admiration for his 
august person, and partly on account of my pas- 
sionate desire to continue to be a citizen of my 
beloved fatherland. I made an appeal, therefore, 
to the Emperor's gracious kindness; and I have 
been a whole month without a reply letting me know 
whether I am or am not to be permitted to be an 

The letter, which was published, was obviously 
written for publication. It was a manifesto rather 
than a confidence — designed to tell Austria, not the 
truth, but what John Orth wished to be accepted 
as the truth. We seem to see the writer laying his 
hand upon his heart and bowing, as he makes his 
exit speech. He goes on to speak of his intention 
to obtain a master mariner's certificate; and then 
he becomes poetically vague : — 

" My longings and my dreams will doubtless dis- 
appear among the ocean waves : not so the ideal 
which I cherish in my heart. Shall I be happy? 
I do not know; but at least I am satisfied that I 
have no reason to blush for anything that I have 
done. What will become of me if I do adopt the 
Swiss nationality? That, too, I do not know. The 
time for idle and empty dreams is past. . . . 

"... Need I add that, even if I have to become 
Swiss, my heart and soul will continue to be entirely 
Austrian ? 



" Perhaps my words are the outcome of morbid 
excitement. However that may be, I hide my 
thoughts from no one, and cling to the hope 
that, some day, I shall be able to seal my 
fidelity to my country by my actions. In truth, my 
impatience to do so is great — especially great in 
view of the impossibility of bringing my plans 
to realisation." 

There are also a few later letters. In one of 
them, written on the eve of departure, we read : — 

' To-day I bid farewell to Europe — the quarter 
of the globe in which the first years of my life have 
been passed; and I am now beginning to realise, in 
the shadow of my old flag, my project of a voyage 
to the New World. The tug which awaits me 
will slowly and silently tow my ship out to sea, 
without any firing of salutes. And so we shall float 
down the Thames — the golden Thames; and, in a 
few hours' time, we shall be unfurling our sails in 
the midst of fog and rain." 

The last letter is written after the arrival in 
South America : — 

"Once away from Vienna, I find everything 
peaceful. My loyalty to my fatherland cannot be 
shaken. Across the wide waters I waft it a salute." 

That is the final gesture; and one can get little 
out of it beyond the fact that John Orth was a true 
Habsburg, who must needs strike an attitude. His 
exit speeches to Herr Heinrich are, mutatis 
mutandis, in the same tone as his exit speeches to 
Countess Marie Larisch and Princess Louisa. We 



have already given a portion of his farewell speech 
to the latter; and the rest of it may be quoted 
here : — 

" My uncle looked at us tenderly, for we were on 
the verge of tears at the idea of losing our kind 
and brilliant kinsman, and he then said, with calm 
gravity : ' I am about to disappear, my dear children, 
and I shall do so in such a manner that no one will 
ever find me. When the Emperor is dead, I will 
return, for then Austria will require my services. 

"'I wish, Louisa and Leopold, that you could 
come with me, for we three should live the life best 
suited to us. It cannot be, however, and our ways 
must part here. You are both, like myself, indi- 
vidualities, and, like me, you will work out your 
destinies. But we shall become forces that will 
eventually be felt." 

One suspects here, of course, that Princess 
Louisa's self-consciousness has impaired the exacti- 
tude of her recollections. She wants us to believe 
that the seal of mystery was imprinted, at an early 
age, on her own brow, and that the Man of Mystery 
among the Habsburgs recognised her, even in her 
childhood, as a kindred spirit. Perhaps he did, 
and perhaps he did not — it matters very little. 
What really matters is the impression which John 
Orth left behind him — the impression of a man 
with dark secrets and deep designs, which he hinted 
at but would not communicate; one who meant to 
evaporate like a subtle essence — to be materialised 
again when there once more was work for him to do 
in the flesh. That was how he impressed Countess 



Marie Larisch, when he kissed her hand and left 
her standing alone on that dark night in the 
Ring :— 

" I watched John of Tuscany as he passed into 
the fog and disappeared in the gloom of the night. 
And, when I read later that he had been drowned 
at sea, I thought of that evening in Vienna when 
he bade me farewell. Has he died without dying? 
I think so. And I believe that the Archduke, de- 
spite all evidence to the contrary, will return in his 
own good time." 

But what became of him? 

The actual known facts are very few. The 
Salnte-M arguerite , navigated, not, as Princess 
Louisa says, by John Orth, but by Captain Sodich, 
set sail on March 26, 1890, and duly reached La 
Plata. There she took a fresh crew, and started, 
with John Orth himself in command and Milly 
Stubel on board, on a voyage to Valparaiso. 
Furious gales were raging round the Horn at the 
time of her passage; and she never reached her 
destination. The presumption that she had gone 
down, with her captain and all hands, was very 
strong; but still hope was not abandoned. There 
was just a chance that she might have been wrecked 
on one of the desolate islands off the coast of Chili 
— islands which have no harbours and no means of 
communication with the rest of the world. The 
thing had happened to other ships, and it was just 
possible that it might have happened to the Sainte- 
Marguerite. So Don Agostino Aroyo, Minister of 



the Argentine Republic at Vienna, argued; and 
Francis Joseph sent an Austrian cruiser to search 
the coast, in accordance with his suggestions. But 
without result. The cruiser searched diligently, 
and found nothing. The sea guarded its secret, 
and the mystery was as deep as ever. 

And then legend got to work, and refused 
to be stifled, alleging that John Orth was still 

There were those who declared that the Sainte- 
M ar guerite had not been lost at sea, but had been 
given another name, and had either been marooned 
or entered another port than that for which she was 
cleared; but that is quite incredible, if not materi- 
ally impossible. The ship could hardly have been 
marooned anywhere where she would not, by this 
time, have been found; and one can imagine no 
means whereby the silence of the survivors could 
have been secured. Moreover, the police of the 
seas and the ports does its work very effectively; 
and every sailor man is a potential detective 
who boasts that he can recognise any ship 
known to him, without needing to read the name 
painted on her stern. This first theory, therefore, 
will not by any means hold water ; and it was quickly 
supplanted by the second theory that, though the 
Sainte-M ar guerite was lost, with all hands, John 
Orth was not on board of her. That is the theory 
to which Princess Louisa adheres : — 

"The chief officer of this vessel" (she writes) 
" came to Salzburg expressly to see papa, and this 


The Archduke John of Tuscany 
(John Orth.) 


man told me he was positive John Orth was alive, 
and had never gone to Valparaiso. He described 
how, as the old crew stood watching the Margherita 
disappear into the evening mists, the person who 
stood on the bridge, enveloped in a great-coat, and 
muffled to the eyes, was not John Orth, but some 
one impersonating him. The crew in question re- 
turned to Trieste, and one and all believed the evi- 
dence of their own eyes at La Plata, and refused 
to put any credence in the report that their captain 
had been drowned at sea." 

That was the starting-point of the legend; and 
it was soon embroidered, as such legends always 
are. From this, that, and the other source came 
reports that this, that, and the other traveller had 
met John Orth and recognised him. One may as 
well make out a list of these stories : — 

i. A visitor to a Spanish convent recognised John 
Orth there in the garb of a monk. 

2. A French immigrant to the Argentine Re- 
public, returning to France in 1893, declared that 
he had met John Orth at Buenos Ayres, and again 
at Rio Quarto. 

3. A citizen of Trieste claimed to have met John 
Orth at Buenos Ayres in 1894. 

4. An explorer of the Polar regions related that 
he had encountered John Orth in the midst of the 
eternal snow and ice, carrying a pocket-book on 
which the arms of the House of Habsburg were 
emblazoned in gold. 

5. An explorer of the Chaco discovered John 
Orth, living in a lonely hut, sixteen miles from the 



nearest house, in the disputed territory close to 
the Chilian frontier. The man, who spoke 
German, called himself Frederick Otten; but 
the traveller was not to be deceived by his false 

Some of these stories are more plausible than 
others; and the one of them which has stuck in 
the minds of men is that which identifies John Orth 
with Frederick Otten, or, as some versions of the 
story style him, Baron Ott. But another story, 
never before printed, may be added here. A gentle- 
man who spoke English fluently with a German 
accent, was in England a little while ago, 
attended by a well-known London solicitor, and 
prepared to negotiate with publishers. The 
solicitor invited Mr. Eveleigh Nash to meet him; 
and he dropped the hint which gave the open- 
ing for overtures, by saying something about " my 
niece." "Then you," said Mr. Nash, "must be 
the Archduke John of Tuscany." " I am," replied 
the mysterious stranger; and then the conversation 
turned on literary matters. " I can't write my life 
under my own name," said the stranger, " but if you 
want reminiscences of the House of Habsburg, I can 
provide you with plenty of them." 

There, for the moment, the matter was left ; but 
presently there was a sequel. Information was re- 
ceived that the same traveller had also visited Paris, 
and, there also, had been invited to a little dinner in 
a restaurant; but, in Paris, the inquiry into his repre- 
sentations was pursued more carefully. Princess 
Louise of Saxe-Coburg, who was then in Paris, and 


Mayerling Legend Is Revised 
Death of 'Archduke' in Norway 

Lithographer, 93, Believed Missing 
isburg Heir Who Witnessed Tragedy — 
Steel Box Yields New Version 


By Cable to Thb New York Timm. 

3NHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 
ayed ) — Lithographer Hugo 
\ alias Archduke Johan 
re of Tuscany, whose iden 
a member of the Imperial 
,n Habsburg family was 
id last night after he had 
i anonymity for years, left 
his possessions a steel safe 
has been opened by his 

i the 93-year-old Archduke 
ider a false name on May 
•istiansund it was disclosed 

had been an eyewitness of 
lyerling drama, on which 
uments throw an entirely 
ght. Also found was a 
:alendar definitely proving 
ratify of the deceased as 
of Tuscany, who after his 

the Grand Duke Franz 
Jid, was closets to succes- 
the old Habsburg dynasty, 
rding to a Berlingske 
s correspondent, the Arch- 
effects included a personal 
donging to Crown Prince 
BLHabsburg and a detailed 

and denounced his rights to the 
throne until he was cleared of the 
false and unjustified accusations. 

Franz Josef, indignant at his 
relative's behavior, sentenced him 
to lose his princely title and rights 
for twenty years. Johan then left 
the country. 

Rudolf, before the fatal day, had 
left a steel safe at Countess La- 
risch, who in her memoirs disclosed 
that the Prince had ordered her to 
give it only to himself or some one 
who was able to give a code word. 
She kept the safe for two weeks; 
then a stranger came to her, men- 
tioned the code word and claimed 
the steel box. She recognized him 
as Rudolf's friend Johan, but she 
wrote: "The full truth will never 
be known, as Johan of Tuscany on 
a stormy night was shipwrecked 
off Cape Horn and the steel box 
now is at the bottom of the sea." 

In a modest apartment at 49 
Skipper Street in Kristiansund, the 
Berlingske's correspondent this aft- 
ernoon had an opportunity to see 
the contents of the historic steel 
safe, which the family will publish 
.y s«>ii4suan^ 

IS stpsas 

uoo 8lft 

:a ub uo 
dub imo 
dxa Sui 



c puy 


uioo aq; 



l 'OAV} JO 

eu.} }SBd Suiureaii}s jo ^qBtj Qv ft pauuoj aABq saa 
-uioisno aq} iBin suorpB-iHB a:iBS sb saATasuiaq; 

p9U.S!iqB}Sa OS 8A ( A8tft PUB SpJBO SUIMBJP SB S92UI 

jtaift o) ppB tpitiA\ S8UTBAU dn ijmq aABq Aaqi, 
•saaipBcI abh uaajQ *m P u ^ suiiispaH uo^Sui 
-qsBM aq; 's.reaa oSBOiqo aq} 'siubiq ^ojs. A\ 
aq} — Ajoisiq Suoi S}i ut saa^Bui-Aauoui tuia^sis 
-uoo anoi a"tuo pBq SBq anSBaq HBqiooji tbuoiibm 
aq} 'Ijb J^UV *oo; 'uibj^s AABaq b aq njA\ n 

airi puB^s ubo }t puiqaq A'npaijod.ind snciiiUBq 
qsni asoq; ji — itas;i # qsqqBisa 0} saBaA" reiaAas 
dnoaS Bouaiuv-lIV ^m 3*p2} \\ia\ 31 pub }qSiu 
-aaAO auop aq iouubo qoC aqj, 'aAajqoB o; A\in:iuao 
b jo ja^JBnb b ;inojio aapip aq} >fpo} }i }BqA\ 
suosBas jo ajdnoo b ut qsiidiuoooB 0} saAU}s dooi 
^aiA\oao ^uiunf aq} sb s>jpoq}a}pod jo ai}}Bq b aq 
\\va }i 'unSaq A*ip.iBq SBq }i uaAO si ai}}Bq aq} 
}Bq} UBaiu XjuBSsaoau } ( usaop }Bq} 'aaAaAvoH 

•si }i auo^saaujoo pqos b pub auo}sjau.ioo 


who had known John of Tuscany well, consented 
to come to the restaurant, and look at the stranger, 
without making herself known to him. He did not 
recognise her, and she did not recognise him. 
* That man," she said, " is no more John of Tuscany 
than I am"; and when Mr. Nash subsequently 
tried to get into communication with his mysterious 
acquaintance at the address which had been given 
to him, his letter was returned to him. 

So that that identification falls to the ground ; and, 
indeed, the plausibility of the most plausible of the 
identifications weighs but little in the balance when 
set against the difficulty of vanishing, as John Orth 
is supposed to have vanished, from human ken. 
What Jabez Balfour failed to do, in the same part 
of the world, with considerably stronger motives 
for doing it, John Orth is not in the least likely to 
have done. Nor need his melodramatic exit 
speeches — if he really delivered them — influence 
our judgment in the matter; for there is nothing 
in a determination to " die without dying " 
which can avail to save a sailor from the perils of 
the sea. 

Nor is anything proved by the fact that John 
Orth's mother, believing one or other of the stories, 
suddenly ceased to wear mourning for her son. 
Her case, in that respect, was only like that of the 
mother of Sir Roger Tichborne ; and, like the mother 
of Sir Roger Tichborne, she gave large sums of 
money to an impostor who claimed to be her son. 
So we may take it as proved beyond all reasonable 
doubt that John Orth is really and truly dead; and 

257 s 




the law courts recently took that view, and gave 
plTl leave to presume his death, to the advantage of 

his heirs. His death is the second of the major 
^and tragedies of Francis Joseph's reign. The assassina- 

B tw0 tion of the Empress was to be the third. 



and H°» 



The revolt of the Archdukes — Instructive analogies — Later 
years of the Empress Elizabeth — Her manner of life 
described by M. Paoli, the Corsican detective — Her fear- 
lessness — Her superstitions — Various evil omens — The 
last excursion — Assassination of the Empress at Geneva 
— How Francis Joseph received the news. 

Many Archdukes besides John Orth were des- 
tined to surprise and shock Francis Joseph by their 
aspirations after the common lot, and their repudia- 
tion of family pride in their conduct of the affairs 
of their hearts. We shall see them all in a moment 
— Archdukes and Archduchesses as well — placing 
love on the pedestal which the Head of their House 
assigned to rank, and rising, like a cloud of wit- 
nesses, to testify against the Habsburg principles 
and system. 

The revolt is instinctive, though the vast number 
of the rebels sometimes gives it the appearance of 
being concerted. There are no precedents for it 
in history, and the most luminous analogies are 
religious ones. One may be reminded of the case 
of those Essayists and Reviewers who, in the 
'sixties, split the tight vestments of the Church of 

259 s 2 


England by the impatient movements of their 
broad shoulders, and were denounced as the 
Seven against Christ; or of the case of those 
Modernists of the Roman Catholic Church whom 
Pius X. from time to time rebukes for bringing 
scholarship and intelligence to bear upon theo- 
logical propositions. In any case, the attack is, and 
has been, an attack from within, — the deadliest 
kind of attack ; and the resulting spectacle is strange, 
and, to many, painful. 

Here, it seems, is the House of Habsburg 
betrayed by the members of the household; 
here are the very pillars of the temple, getting up, 
one after the other, and walking — or even run- 
ning — away, careless whether the roof falls in, so 
long as they are not involved in the ruin ; while 
Francis Joseph is left to sit almost alone in the 
midst of the scene of desolation : a pathetic 
figure, like Marius alone among the ruins of 
Carthage — or perhaps an heroic figure, like that 
strong man of whom Horace wrote that even the 
collapse of the universe would find him undismayed. 
We are coming to that spectacle in a moment ; but 
the time for ringing up the curtain on it is not quite 
yet. The tableau must be preceded by the scene 
of the assassination of the Empress. 

We are told that the Empress wrote Reminis- 
cences, which will some day be published. Until 
they appear — if they ever do appear — the full 
history of her inner life cannot be written ; and it 
may be impossible to write it even then. The gift 
of self-revelation is as rare as genius, if it is not, 



indeed, a kind of genius ; and the men and women 
who have the art of communicating the secrets of 
their souls are far fewer than those who have secrets 
to communicate. It often happens that the world, 
asking for bread, is given a stone; asking, that is 
to say, for a confession, is given dark hints, and 
trivial tittle-tattle. It may prove to be so in this 
case; but no one knows. 

For Elizabeth guarded her secret to the end; 
and the world has no real knowledge of her, but 
only an impression, arising out of dark sayings, 
and a curious way of life. She was restless, and 
she sought solitude — one can say little more of her 
than that. What gadfly stung her, and drove her 
continually from place to place, one can but guess; 
and one is tempted, from time to time, to contra- 
dictory guesses. Perhaps the contradictions could 
be reconciled; perhaps more than one gadfly tor- 
tured her. She spoke of herself as a woman who 
dreaded death and yet saw nothing in life worth 
clinging to. She said that she had religious beliefs, 
and yet her favourite poet was Heine, who had 
none ; and when Countess Starztay spoke to her 
of a peace beyond all understanding awaiting her 
when death had done its worst, she turned on her 
with the retort : 

: 'What do you know about that? No traveller 
who has taken that journey has ever returned to 
tell us what he found at the end of it." 

That is hardly the language of Pantheism ; and 
yet there were pompous believers who pointed at 



Elizabeth reproachfully as a Pantheist. One may 
conjecture that she tried to be a Pantheist, and 
succeeded sometimes, for a little while, and relapsed, 
from time to time, into uneasiness, and the sense 
of her personality as an Old Man of the Sea always 
on her back, and by no means to be thrown off. It 
often happens so when personalities are very pro- 
nounced, and experiences have been vividly in- 
dividual. Inherited superstitions naturally confirm 
the tendency; and Elizabeth — sceptic though she 
seemed in orthodox circles — must have inherited 
more superstitions than she abandoned. 

She evidently felt herself to be — and, in a sense, 
doubtless was — a woman who had survived herself. 
Something, as she said, had died in her; and life, 
after that death, was no more than a mechanical 
physiological round. Ill health may have helped 
to fix a sensation which, in good health, would 
only have been transitory; she was an invalid 
— albeit rather a vigorous invalid — during her later 
years. Her knowledge that there was madness in 
her family — the consequent sense of doom impend- 
ing — may have conjured up the picture of Nemesis 
in pursuit of her; and she was not without reasons 
for telling herself that her failure in life had been 
signal. Even if she did not know just what it 
was that she had wanted, she must have been quite 
sure that, whatever it had been, she had failed to 
get it. There had been no happiness for her in 
family life, and as little happiness in love. In the 
former she had had the sense of tragedy without 
the compensation of affection; and, if the obvious 



interpretation of Countess Marie Larisch's story be 
the true one, she had known what it was for a lover 
to ride away, leaving her to cynical reflections. 
So she went through life wearing a mask, and 
letting everyone see that she was wearing it. 

So far as externals go, the picture can, of course, 
be given more detail. M. Xavier Paoli, of the 
Surete, whose function it was to shadow royalties 
in France, and protect them from assassins, has 
recorded many particulars of her eccentricities. 
She resented his attentions at first, and wanted to 
be left alone. "We shan't want anybody," were 
General Berzeviczy's words to M. Paoli when he 
first introduced himself, and offered his services; 
but M. Paoli was a discreet man who knew how 
to make himself acceptable, always there when 
wanted, and never in the way when not wanted; 
and he observed what he saw with the keen eye of 
a detective for whom nothing is too minute to be 
remarked. From him we learn that the Empress 
bathed daily in distilled water, and took only one 
biscuit with her tea at breakfast, and refreshed her- 
self later in the morning with "meat juice extracted 
daily from several pounds of fillet of beef by means 
of a special apparatus which she always carried 
with her," and dined off iced milk, raw eggs, and a 
glass of Tokay. 

M. Paoli also speaks of her long walks; for 
these, of course, were occasions on which the burden 
of his responsibilities weighed heavily upon him. 
Elizabeth often walked as much as fifteen or twenty 
miles in a day, with no one but her " Greek Reader " 



— some student, as a rule, of the University of 
Athens — in attendance. His function was not only 
to read Greek, but also to carry the Empress's spare 
skirt. She walked " clad in a black serge gown of 
so simple a character that no well-to-do trades- 
woman would have cared to be seen in it"; and 
she often changed her skirt in the midst of her 
perambulations, behind trees, or any other screen 
which the landscape afforded, while the reader duti- 
fully looked the other way. Sometimes, too, she 
perambulated the streets of Paris with equal reck- 
lessness. Once, M. Paoli recalls, she went to see 
Notre Dame by moonlight, and insisted upon being 
taken afterwards to eat onion soup in a popular cafe. 
Biarritz and the Riviera, however, were the places 
at which M. Paoli saw most of her. At both resorts 
she was known as "the lady in black'' who went 
about with a full purse, dispensing charity when 
the fit came upon her. Whenever she visited 
Biarritz, she never failed to buy a cow, to be sent 
to her farm in Hungary. At Cap Martin, where 
the Empress Eugenie recommended her an hotel, 
Francis Joseph sometimes came to see her; but 
he does not seem to have seen very much of her 
when he did come. Elizabeth " sometimes," but 
by no means always, dined with him ; and she in- 
variably lunched alone. The visits, one cannot 
help feeling, were little more than tributes to those 
appearances which are so terribly important in 
imperial circles. It is added that the billiard-room 
was consecrated as a chapel; and perhaps in that 
act also a regard for appearances may be discerned. 



A more important fact, from M. Paoli's point of 
view, was Elizabeth's reluctance to let him know 
where she was going, when she started for one of 
her walks. He generally managed to find out; but 
he nevertheless remonstrated, and received a char- 
acteristic reply : 

"Set your mind at rest, my dear M. Paoli. 
Nothing will happen to me ! what yould you have 
them do to a poor woman ? Besides, not one of us 
is more than the petal of a poppy or a ripple on 
the water." 

He assured her that there really was danger — 
that he had heard rumours ; but she still refused to 
let herself be scared : 

" What ! " she exclaimed. " Still more of your 
fears. I repeat, I am not afraid; and, mind, I 
make no promises." 

But there were omens which others noticed even 
if Elizabeth herself was blind to them. It was 
observed that, while her reader was reading aloud 
from Marion Crawford's Corleone — a romance 
dealing with the crimes of the Mafia — a raven 
wheeled and circled round the Empress, returning 
as often as it was driven away; and she told her 
suite, one morning, that the moon, seen at midnight 
from her bedroom window, had looked like the face 
of a woman weeping. Moreover, the Parisian 
sorceress who prophesied under the name of the 
Angel Gabriel had made a significant prediction : 
that one of the sensational events of the year would 



be — V assassinat (Vune souveraine au cceur malade. 
No Queen or Empress of the time was known to 
be suffering from physical heart disease; but Eliza- 
beth was living as a woman whose heart was bowed 
by grief and sickened by disappointments. It must 
be to her, the superstitious whispered to each other, 
that the warning of the Angel Gabriel pointed. 

The fatal year was spent, as usual, in whirling 
about Europe : from Biarritz to San Remo ; from 
San Remo to Caux ; from Caux to Kissingen ; from 
Kissingen to Bruckenau; from Bruckenau to 
Vienna — where Elizabeth shut herself up, and 
refused even to receive a newly-accredited ambas- 
sador; from Vienna to Lainz; from Lainz to Ischl ; 
from Ischl to Nauheim; and from Nauheim back 
again to Switzerland, where she established herself 
in one of the hotels at Caux. At Caux she had, or 
thought she had, a vision which foreboded evil. 
A mysterious woman in white appeared in the hotel 
grounds, when the Empress was sitting on her 
balcony, and stared up at her with a fixed and 
menacing gaze. The sight made her nervous, and 
she told one of her retinue to send the woman away ; 
but though every path in the hotel grounds was 
searched, and every bush was beaten, no woman in 
white could be discovered anywhere, and people 
remembered and recalled an old Austrian legend : 
that a woman in white always appeared on the eve 
of a Habsburg tragedy — had appeared at Schonn- 
brunn in 1867, and again in 1889, on the eve of 
the tragedies of Queretaro and Meyerling. 

Whether the suite believed in that legend none 



can say ; the normal attitude of unphilosophic man- 
kind towards such a legend is to discredit it, and 
yet, at the same time, to wonder whether there may 
not be " something in it." The thing really to be 
dreaded was its possible effect on the Empress's 
mind, already impressed by the omen of the circling 
raven, and the resemblance of the midnight moon 
to the countenance of a weeping woman. It was 
thought unwise, in the circumstances, to let her 
pay a promised visit to Baroness Adolphe 
Rothschild, in her villa at Pregny, near Geneva. 
But, though she was nervous, she was also obstinate. 
She spoke, as it was her habit to speak, as a fatalist : 

" I am always on the march," she said, " to meet 
my fate. Nothing can prevent me from meeting 
it on the day on which it is written that I must do 
so. Fate often closes its eyes; but, sooner or 
later, it always opens them again, and sees us. The 
steps which one ought to avoid in order that one 
may not encounter Fate are precisely those which 
one inevitably takes. I am well aware that I am 
taking such steps every day of my life." 

So she insisted, and set out; and, this time, Fate 
was indeed waiting on the road which she chose to 
travel. She met Fate, just as one may meet any 
chance acquaintance when going on any journey. 
She was not the object of any individual hatred; 
she was merely the tallest poppy in the path of one 
of those anarchists who conceive it to be their 
function to lay the tallest poppies low. The 
assassin said as much to M. Paoli, who went to see 
him in prison : 



"I struck" (he said) "at the first crowned head 
that came along. I don't care. I wanted to make 
a demonstration, and I succeeded." 

His name was Luccheni; he made his demon- 
stration while Elizabeth was walking along the 
Quai du Mont Blanc towards the landing-stage 
of the steamer. His weapon was a shoemaker's 
awl, sharpened to a deadly point; he sprang like 
a panther, and drove it into her heart; then he ran 
for his life — soon to be overtaken, and caught, and 
held. It was all done so quickly that no one — not 
even the victim — realised what had happened. She 
could still speak, and supposed that she had been 
hustled by a pickpocket with a view to theft. 
"What is it?" she asked, with rather a dazed 
manner; and it was not until she had got on board 
the boat that she first sat down, and then fainted. 
There was only a single spot of blood — the weapon 
having closed the wound it made; but Elizabeth 
was now unconscious — dying of internal haemor- 
rhage. The steamer, which had started, was put 
back; a litter was improvised with the oars and 
sail of one of the boats ; but it was all over by that 
time, and the doctors could do nothing. Luccheni, 
in custody, was already boasting cynically : 

" I struck well. I feel sure I must have killed 
her. I hope I didn't bungle it. I hope she's reallv 

Such was her end : as sudden and tragic as her 
son's, though not, like his, enveloped in any shroud 
of mystery. It onlv remained to break the news to 



Francis Joseph; and Countess Starztay despatched 
two telegrams to Count Paar. The first ran thus : 

" Her Majesty has sustained a serious injury. I 
hope you will announce the fact to the Emperor 
with all possible consideration for his feelings." 

The second despatch added that the injuries had 
proved fatal; but the two arrived simultaneously. 
Count Paar had them both in his hands when he 
waited on the Emperor, who gathered from his 
face the nature of the news he bore. He read the 
messages, and sank into his chair like a man stunned. 
When he mastered himself, and looked up, he saw 
the Archduke Francis Ferdinand standing beside 
him. " What ! " he cried to him bitterly. " Is there 
no calamity known to this world which is to be 
spared to me ? " 

None, it would seem; and the accumulation of 
tragedies on the bent white head may well have 
seemed the more rather than the less overwhelming, 
because of the dearth, in each case, of those endear- 
ing memories which can be relied upon to mellow 
grief after the first sharp shock of calamity has 
passed. The brother who had been shot for pre- 
tending to be Emperor of Mexico had been, in 
Austria, the leader of a hostile faction. The son 
who took his own life so ignobly at Meyerling had 
at least toyed with treason. The more distant 
relative who died at sea had defied him and insulted 
him. Between him and the memory of his early 
romantic love for his wife there loomed other inter- 
rupting memories. So that it was in a double sense 



that time had brought the fulfilment of the curse 
of the mother who prayed God to punish the 
Emperor for taking the life of her son by smiting 
him in the person of every member of his family. 

His language, nevertheless, was that of a man 
who had really loved the wife whom he had lost. 
One of his intimates has reported it : 

" No one " (he said) " can ever know how great 
is the loss which I have sustained. I can never tell 
you how much I owe to my well-beloved wife, the 
Empress, and how great a support she was to me 
during the years in which I endured so much. I 
never can thank God sufficiently for having given 
me such a companion in life. Repeat what I say 
to you; tell every one; I shall be grateful" 

The speech may seem, indeed, an unnatural 
sequel to some of the facts related in these pages : 
an unnatural sequel, in particular, to the account 
given of the Empress's restless wanderings — her 
ceaseless search for something which she could 
neither discover nor define — and her long and 
frequent absences from the home of her adoption. 
But we need not, for all that, read it with ; any 
suspicion of insincerity. Francis Joseph, it is quite 
clear, set forth in it, not only what he wished to be 
believed, but also what he wished to believe. He 
had dreamed love's young dream in his youth, and 
had not merely pretended that he was dreaming 
it. It had seemed to him, in those years of illusion, 
that the dreaming of it was not incompatible with 
the Habsburg system of consanguineous marriages 



with the members of houses as tainted as their 

Nor was it through any overt act of his that in- 
compatibilities irreconcilable with that dream had 
come to light. The handsome young man, united 
to a beautiful young woman, had only by degrees 
discovered that his case was also that of a simple 
man of soldierly directness, united to a woman who 
was a mysterious enigma, living an inner life into 
which it was impossible for him to penetrate. He 
had done his best, and hoped against hope that the 
dream which he had dreamed would come true. 
There is no reason to suppose that he abandoned 
the hope because he found himself taking a keen 
pleasure in the society of Frau Schratt; and there 
is every reason to believe that he liked to recall the 
dream, and live in it again, and deceive himself. 

But his marriage had, nevertheless, been a proof 
of the failure of the Habsburg matrimonial system; 
and further proofs of its failure, together with many 
instances of revolt against it, were to be pressed 
upon his notice in the years immediately in front 
of him. His future trouble with the Archdukes and 
the Archduchesses was to be trouble mainly of that 



"Austria's idiot Archdukes" — A catalogue raisonne — The 
Emperor's brothers — The Archduke Rainer — The Arch- 
duke Henry and the actress — The Archduke Louis Sal- 
vator, the Hermit of the Balearic Islands — The Archduke 
Charles Salvator — The Archduke Joseph — The Archduke 
Eugene and his vow to be "as chaste as possible " — The 
Archduke William and his courtship in the cafe — The 
Archduke Leopold — The awful Archduke Otto and his 
manifold vagaries. 

"Austria's idiot Archdukes" — that is the scorn- 
ful phrase in which Bismarck summed up the pillars 
of the House of Habsburg; but we must neither 
adopt it as a definition nor discard it as an insult. 

Archdukes, it is true, have been bred to deviate 
from the normal human type; but they have not all 
deviated from it in the same direction. Brilliance, 
as well as beauty, may go with decadence. Genius 
and madness are allied, and eccentricity is the 
cousin of both of them; the diseased fruit of a 
diseased stock may sometimes seem to make up in 
splendour for what it lacks in strength. We shall 
see how the various cases of the Archdukes and 
Archduchesses confirm that truth — Francis Joseph 



alone among them combining a fair endowment of 
ability with a plausible resemblance to the average 

Indeed, we have already seen him doing so. In 
his married life we have seen him as the average 
man puzzled by the exceptional woman — puzzled 
but pursuing to the last. In his political life we 
have seen him flexible rather than strong, wise in 
his selection of counsellors, but sometimes knowing 
better than they did, and always, in later years at 
least, cutting the right figure in the eyes of 
the world : an Emperor, indeed — " something like 
an Emperor," as people say — magnificent, authori- 
tative, genial, and affable, though of an affability 
on which none must venture to presume. It may 
be, of course, that there is more here of appearance, 
carefully kept up, than of the reality which compels 
appearance to conform to it; but one's impression, 
in any case, is of an Emperor whom the discipline 
of a strict education and early responsibilities has, 
as it were, standardised. 

But, if the Emperor has been standardised, the 
Archdukes have not. They have gone as they have 
pleased, differing from other people as Habsburgs 
must, but not differing from them in the pursuit of 
any uniform ideal — often, indeed, striking extra- 
ordinary attitudes in their strenuous endeavours 
to get back to the manners and methods of 
ordinary mankind. Already we have met a few 
of them : the Crown Prince Rudolph, a man of 
letters, a rake, and perhaps a potential rebel; 
" John Orth," a musician, a pamphleteer, and a hot- 

273 T 


tempered visionary pelting the Emperor with the 
insignia of the Golden Fleece. It remains, leaving 
those stories behind us, to complete our picture of 
the Habsburg Court with a review of the proceed- 
ings of some of the others. 

We may even go back a little way for the 
purpose; for, though the memory of the more 
distant events has been effaced by recent excite- 
ments, Francis Joseph has had trouble with 
his brothers as well as his son, his grand- 
children, his nephews and nieces, and his cousins. 
Maximilian, as we have seen, wounded his feel- 
ings by more than one offensively pointed bid for 
popularity at his expense. Charles Louis is de- 
scribed by Countess Marie Larisch as " a fat old 
man with brutish instincts," and accused by her of 
ill-treating his wife, who, on her part, was under- 
stood to be in love with her Chamberlain. The 
proceedings of the third brother, Louis Victor, 
are still wrapped in a shroud of mystery which 
it might be indiscreet to try to tear; but his 
career as a butterfly of fashion was cut suddenly 
short by Francis Joseph's peremptory command 
to him to leave Vienna for Salzburg and stay 

That is the end of the list of brothers, but only 
the beginning of the list of eccentric or otherwise 
unsatisfactory Archdukes. Whether any general 
impression of an abstract Archduke will result from 
an enumeration of the performances of several con- 
crete Archdukes is dubious; but it will nevertheless 
be worth while to make out a list in the hope that 



the figures will somehow group themselves into a 
subject picture. 

I. The Archduke Rainer, a second cousin, was 
long the most brilliant representative of Habsburg 
culture : a Doctor of Philosophy of the University 
of Vienna, the Head, for fifty years, of the Imperial 
Academy of Sciences, the organiser of more than 
one International Exhibition, and a collector who 
ransacked the Coptic monasteries of the Lybian 
Desert for papyri, and brought two entire ship-loads 
of them home with him to Trieste — a collection 
which Orientalists have not yet finished sorting, 
though they have been at the task for half a century. 
His marriage caused no trouble, for he was united in 
time to an Archduchess who shared his simple tastes. 
He always, indeed, had his aspirations after the 
simple life and the common lot; but his mani- 
festations of those longings did not cause much 
inconvenience. Just as the Empress Elizabeth 
once startled the company at a Court banquet 
by calling for a slice of sausage and a glass of 
beer, so the Archduke Rainer is said to have 
expressed a desire, on a similar occasion, for boiled 
mutton and caper sauce — a dish first served to him 
by the landlady of a Brighton lodging-house. But 
there certainly was no harm in that; nor was there 
any harm in the Archduke's passion for travelling 
in Switzerland under an assumed name, dining at 
table d'hote, and so hearing at first hand the gossip 
current about his more lively relatives. The Arch- 
duke Rainer was an Archduke for whom his collec- 
tion of papyri was Archdukedom large enough ; and 

275 t 2 


he was an ornament to the House of Habsburg, as 
he would have been an ornament of any house of 
which he was a member. 

2. The Archduke Henry — Archduke Rainer's 
brother — was chiefly distinguished for his mor- 
ganatic marriage with the actress, Leopoldine Hoff- 
mann; and that story is chiefly interesting for the 
light which it throws upon the gradual evolution of 
Francis Joseph's attitude towards such mar- 
riages. He accepted such a union in the case of 
the brother of the Empress who married the actress 
Henrietta Mendel ; but Bavarian mesalliances were, 
of course, outside his purview. Habsburgs, he con- 
sidered, should maintain a higher standard of 
matrimonial exclusiveness than Wittelsbachs. He 
expressly forbade the Archduke Henry's marriage; 
and the priest who performed it is said only to have 
been entrapped into doing so by a trick played on 
him at a luncheon party. However that may have 
been, the Archduke fell into disgrace, and was 
absent from Vienna for fifteen years, spending most 
of the time in Switzerland. Then he was recalled, 
and pardoned, and restored to the dignities of which 
he had been deprived. A title of nobility was, at 
the same time, bestowed upon his wife ; and 
when both he and she died, as they did almost 
immediately afterwards, the Archduke Rainer, 
who had no children of his own, adopted 
their orphaned daughter. The promotion of 
the "unclassed" bride and her child — unclassed, 
of course, only from the haughty Habsburg view- 
point — may be said in some measure to have 



foreshadowed events which were to befall there- 

3. The Archduke Louis Salvator — John Orth's 
elder brother — has acquired for himself a kind of 
renown as the student hermit of the Balearic Islands. 
He lives the simple life there, attired, according to 
his niece, Princess Louisa, in " sandals and loose 
linen trousers," toiling like a labourer, with a sun- 
burnt visage, in a vineyard of his own, with a yacht 
always at hand, ready to take him to sea whenever 
a fit of restlessness comes upon him. They speak 
of him as a pagan in his tastes, a worshipper of 
the sun, and of what else one knows not — perhaps 
of houris, for he is a bachelor, and perhaps not. 
He has erected statues in his mysterious grounds 
to a private secretary, to whom he was attached; 
he has been shipwrecked, and he has written books. 
The Empress Elizabeth was the only member of 
the House who showed much sympathy with him, 
sharing, as she did, his love of solitude, his aversion 
from splendour, and his detestation of the well- 
dressed crowd which has so little to do, except to 
be well-dressed. What the Russian novelists — or 
their French critics— call impuissance de vivre 
would seem to be the note of his passion for undis- 
turbed seclusion ; and he has written of his yacht as 
his sole place of refuge : 

" It was the only place which I could call my 
home — the only place in which I really felt at home. 
In all my palaces and places of residence in Austria 
and Hungary, and even on my beloved Island of 
Majorca, I feel just as if I were in a hotel, and 



almost as if I were in a prison. There is no sense 
of home in such places — no sense of home what- 

4. The Archduke Charles Salvator — another of 
John Orth's brothers — also fled from splendour, 
but fled in another direction. His manner of 
seeking the common lot was to mingle with the 
common people ; and he mingled with them in third- 
class railway carriages, and on the tops of omnibuses 
and tram-cars. He also taught himself a trade — 
Louis XVI. 's favourite trade of locksmith — and is 
said to have excelled at it. The police did not 
like him, for his habits gave them trouble ; but the 
accidents which they feared never happened. A 
traitor to the Archducal ideal, perhaps, he was a 
traitor to nothing else; and he lived and died 

5. The Archduke Joseph — one of the Emperor's 
cousins — was clever in more ways than one, being a 
man of learning and also a man of business. He 
counted among the authorities on the folk-lore of 
the Hungarian gypsies; and he was a valuable ad- 
ministrator of commercial and industrial concerns. 
His name figured on the official list of registered 
licensed victuallers; and he distilled an admirable 
brandy. Moreover, he was the titular head of a 
Casino on the Danube near Buda-Pesth : a versatile 
Archduke, in short, who made himself generally 
useful, and was appreciated. 

6. The Archduke Eugene — the Archduke Joseph's 
brother — has specialised in religion, though he was 
educated as a soldier, and was, at one and the same 



time, a colonel of cavalry and a doctor of divinity. v 
At one time he was anxious to resign his commission 
in the hussars in order to become an Archbishop, 
like Beethoven's patron, the Archduke Rudolph; 
but Francis Joseph would not permit the trans- 
formation. As a compromise, he undertook to make 
him Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, as soon 
as that office fell vacant : an office the taking up of 
which is preluded by the singular vow to be "as 
chaste as possible." It is said that the Archduke 
Eugene, who looks his part to the life, has taken the 
vow as well as the office seriously. 

7. The Archduke William — the uncle of the 
Archduke Eugene — preceded him in the Grand- 
mastership; but, in his case, the possibilities of 
chastity appear to have been limited. The stories 
of his assignations with ladies in the cabinets 
farticuliers of restaurants are numerous, and some 
of them are diverting. The landlord, on one occa- 
sion, was so proud of his patronage that he could 
not keep the secret of it. Not realising what the 
consequences might be, he whispered to a friend 
that the Archduke William was, at that moment, 
doing him the honour of pursuing a courtship in 
an upper chamber. The consequence was that, 
when the Archduke descended with the lady from 
the upper chamber, to take his carriage, he found 
a vast crowd of loyal supporters assembled on the 
pavement, to receive him with musical honours. 
His case must have been even more embarrassing 
than that of Francis Joseph, when the cook knelt 
at his feet and sang the national anthem, in the 



small hours of the morning, in Frau Schratt's 

8. The Archduke Leopold — brother of the Arch- 
duke Rainer — was, at one time, commander-in-chief 
of the corps of engineers; but he suddenly disap- 
peared, and people wondered what had become of 
him. Epilepsy — that curse of the House of Habs- 
burg — had struck him down. He was removed to 
the remote castle of Hornstein, where he had to be 
kept in the seclusion of a mental invalid until he 

9. The Archduke Otto — brother of the present 
heir-apparent, and consequently Francis Joseph's 
nephew — was the most amazing of all the Arch- 
dukes, and the one whose case most fittingly illus- 
trates the usual generalisations about Habsburg 
degeneracy. The common people rather liked him ; 
for he had the negative merit of not being proud, 
and was, in the main, the sort of gay and festive 
buffoon to whom the hearts of the common people, 
when untrammelled by considerations of morality, 
go out. But people who were not so common took 
a different view of him; and Austria was filled with 
stories of his misdeeds and the discomfiture which 
they brought him. 

Meeting a funeral procession, when he was out 
riding, he insisted that the coffin should be laid upon 
the ground in order that he might leap his horse 
over it. Getting drunk in a fashionable cafe, he 
more than once executed a dance, apparelled in 
nothing except a kepi, a sword-belt, and a pair of 
gloves; and once, in order to express his contempt 



for things in general and Habsburgs in particular, 
he poured the contents of a dish of spinach over 
the Emperor's bust. A furious lady cyclist once 
assailed him with a whip for breaking up a cycle 
race on the high road on which he was driving; and 
the Austrian journalists who aspersed his private 
character were acquitted by the juries when he 
ventured to take proceedings against them. 

The worst thing that he ever did was to invite his 
boon companions to pay a surprise visit to his wife's 
bedchamber, at two o'clock in the morning, at a time 
when she was just about to become a mother, and 
to strike the one boon companion who was sober 
enough to draw his sword and protect the Arch- 
duchess from the indignity. The matter was re- 
ported; and, as it was impossible for the offended 
officer to avenge his honour by challenging a member 
of the Imperial house, the Emperor took the matter 
under his own hands. He thanked the officer, it 
is said, in Otto's presence for the service which he 
had rendered ; he smacked Otto's face in the officer's 
presence ; and he put Otto under arrest. 

And so on, and so forth ; for the scandalous stories 
about Otto are endless. It need only be added that 
he died young, as the result of his dissipations — the 
structure of his once handsome nose having first 

There we may end our catalogue raisonne of those 
Archdukes whose connection with this biography is 
only incidental. Decidedly it is difficult to 
generalise about them, for they are, and have been, 
no more like each other than like other people. 



There have been good Archdukes as well as bad; 
clever Archdukes as well as stupid ones; and, at 
the end of the list, one finds oneself asking : Is 
there any single trait on which we can lay our 
fingers, declaring that it is common to them all? 

At the first blush one would be disposed to say 
that there is none ; that the recluses, and the rowdies, 
and the students, and the men of business of the 
House of Habsburg are like a fortuitous collection 
of incongruous atoms. But when one looks again, 
and looks more carefully, one becomes conscious of 
a common force which is at work among them all. 
One may describe it, in the language of the 
physicists, as a centrifugal force : Nature's reply, as 
it were, to that centripetal force which has been at 
work from a distant past through the media of the 
doctrine of divine right, and the systems of 
specialised princely education, and consanguineous 
marriages. There is, to sum the matter up, a 
Habsburg ideal, forming the centre of the circle — 
an ideal to which Francis Joseph himself has 
remained as faithful as possible for as long a time 
as possible; but there is also that centrifugal force 
whirling all the individual Habsburgs away from 
that centre in all imaginable directions. 

Most of them, as we know, have been whirled into 
marriages incompatible with the ideal; but there 
have been exceptions to that rule, as to any rule 
which one might endeavour to lay down. The only 
feature really common to their very various adven- 
tures and ways of life is that the force has affected, 
and the whirl has caught, each one of them. Otto 



stripping himself in public ; Charles Salvator board- 
ing the tram; Louis Salvator hiding his face in the 
Balearic Islands; Eugene clamouring for an arch- 
bishopric ; and Rainer sighing for boiled mutton and 
caper sauce — all these are multifarious manifesta- 
tions of an identical phenomenon ; that phenomenon 
being Nature's centrifugal force which is making, 
and will continue to make, havoc of the imposing 
Habsburg system. 

It is in the matter of matrimony, however, that the 
manifestations of that force have excited most 
attention, and promise to be most fruitful of conse- 
quences; and it is of those matrimonial divagations 
from the central ideal that we shall next have to 
speak in detail. 



The centrifugal marriages of the Habsburgs — Francis 
Joseph's attitude towards them — His attitude towards 
Baron Walburg, the Habsburg who had come down in 
the world — Where he draws the line — His refusal to 
sanction the marriage of the Archduke Ferdinand 
Charles to the daughter of a high-school teacher — The 
Archduke resigns his rank and becomes Charles Burg — 
Marriage of the daughter of Archduchess Gisela to 
Baron Otto von Seefried zu Buttenheim. 

In one's survey of the centrifugal marriages 
of the Habsburgs it matters little with which 
marriage one begins. There can be no orderly 
scheme of progression in the narrative ; and though 
one sometimes finds the Emperor, in his later years, 
unbending, resigning himself to the inevitable, and 
even going half-way to meet it, his condescension 
has been neither continuous nor graduated, but has 
proceeded by fits and starts and spasms. At one 
moment we seem to see good nature triumphing over 
pride; at another, the supple back once more stiffens 
itself to the rigidity of the days of old. Conflicting 
considerations have done battle in his mind. Did 
he dare resist? Could he afford to yield? Had 
he any tender feelings towards the individuals who 



pleaded for the concession? Only by considering 
how these several questions presented themselves 
to him can one discover unity of principle in 
his contradictory responses to the innumerable 

The rule, theoretically absolute, is modifiable by 
the Emperor's caprice. Francis Joseph is the Head 
of the House as well as the Sovereign Ruler of the 
Empire; his judgment seat is, in all family 
matters, the ultimate tribunal. He can grant dis- 
pensations, like the Pope; and he sits without 
assessors — to decide whether hallowed principles or 
personal inclinations constitute the Higher Law. 
There are times when he feels that he would like 
to yield but must not; times when he yields, against 
his will, to a pressure which wears down his resist- 
ance; times when, though there is no particular 
reason why he should not yield, he simply does 
not choose to. One can easily adduce both earlier 
and later examples of each of the three attitudes; 
but one can trace through them all a gradual weaken- 
ing, due, in part, no doubt, to advancing age, but 
in part also to a dawning perception of the deleteri- 
ous effect of the Habsburg system upon human 

Marriage after marriage, arranged in accordance 
with the prescriptions of the system, has resulted in 
misery — sometimes to the point of making the 
welkin ring with scandal. The failure of Rudolph's 
marriage was notorious; the failure of Otto's 
marriage was hardly repaired by his wife's dutiful 
attention to him when he came back to her, a mental 



and moral, as well as a physical, wreck. There 
were rumours that the Archduchess Augustine — 
Francis Joseph's granddaughter, the daughter of 
the Archduchess Gisela — suffered violence at her 
husband's hands ; and the union of the Archduchess 
Maria Dorothea to the Due d'Orleans was equally 
unsatisfactory. That son of St. Louis had in his 
youth been tracked to a hotel in Paris by the 
outraged husband of a Queen of Song, attended by 
a French commissary of police; and he and the 
Duchesse d'Orleans have sometimes lived separ- 
ately and talked about divorce. Yet another Arch- 
duchess — the consort of Leopold II., King of the 
Belgians — had reason to complain that she was for- 
saken for the French dancer, Cleo de Merode, and 
many other ladies mostly of low degree and light 

Assuredly there is food for reflection on the 
Habsburg system in this array of connubial 
facts; and one cannot doubt that it has produced 
a cumulative effect upon Francis Joseph's mind and 
conscience. None the less, it has found other pre- 
conceptions and prejudices firmly entrenched in that 
mind and conscience; and the campaign between 
the two sets of ideas and points of view has been 
long and violent — the victory inclining sometimes 
to the one side and sometimes to the other. Quite 
recently, for instance — at a date subsequent to 
several remarkable concessions of which we shall 
be speaking in a moment — Europe heard of the 
morganatic principle being discountenanced with 
such severe success that seven Habsburgs (though 



they were no longer entitled to call themselves 
Habsburgs) came, as we say in England, "on the 
rates." This is how a Viennese correspondent 
chronicles the incident : 

" Great sympathy has been aroused here by the 
sad condition of Baron Ernest Walburg, son of 
the late Archduke Ernest, the Emperor's uncle, by 
a morganatic marriage with a tradesman's daughter. 
His father gave him ,£2,000 a year while he lived, 
but these payments ceased on his death. Baron 
Walburg was an officer in the Austrian army, but 
he resigned his commission when he married a poor 
work-girl. He applied for an audience of the 
Emperor, who declined to see him. He then 
stopped the Emperor in the street at Buda-Pesth, 
and described his sad situation. His creditors had 
distrained on all his belongings, leaving the Baron, 
his wife, and six children absolutely destitute. The 
whole family of eight persons, seven of them having 
Habsburg blood in their veins, are now dependent 
on the public poor rate." 

One of them, it was added, in a subsequent com- 
munication, obtained a situation as head-waiter in 
a cafe at Buda-Pesth. 

The story, 1 it must be admitted, does not dis- 
play Francis Joseph in a sympathetic light; and 
there are several other stories of the same sort 
concerning which the same thing may be said. 
One observes him, as it were, drawn this way and 
that by his feeling that an Emperor — especially if 

1 The responsibility for the story rests with the Vienna 
correspondent of the Daily Mail. It was not contradicted. 



he be a Habsburg — must draw the line somewhere, 
and his doubts as to the precise point at which he 
ought to draw it. Presumably, too, he draws it in 
different places on different occasions, relating the 
drawing of it, whether wittingly or unwittingly, to 
the state of his temper and affections. The Arch- 
duchess Maria Henrietta was, of course, well on the 
right side of it when she married Prince Gottfried 
zu Hohenlohe Schillingfurst; and so, though by no 
means so much as a matter of course, was the Arch- 
duchess Eleanor when she married Naval Lieu- 
tenant Alfons von Kloss. On the other hand, the 
Archduke Ferdinand Charles — nephew of the 
Emperor and brother to the Archdukes Otto and 
Francis Ferdinand — found himself decidedly on the 
wrong side of it when he announced his desire to 
marry Fraulein Czuber, daughter of a teacher of 
mathematics in the Technical High School of 

His case is perhaps of all our cases the most 
provocative of sympathy; even respectable people 
of the upper middle classes may properly permit 
themselves to be moved by it. It was no case, this 
time, of a precociously dissipated youth haunting 
the stage doors of the theatres given over to musical 
comedy, and suffering his inexperience to be 
beguiled by the meretricious attractions of a 
minx. The daughter of a high-school teacher is — 
the daughter of a high-school teacher; one need 
add nothing, for the rest is understood. The 
description implies culture conjoined with decorum, 
and set in a frame of homeliness — a high moral 



tone, and an atmosphere of useful respectability. 
Whatever one may think of the theatrical ladies 
whose fascinations have been so fatal to the Habs- 
burg system, one cannot but admire and respect 
a lady who induces an Archduke to prefer an educa- 
tional environment to the purposeless frivolities of 
the gayest Court in Europe. 

And that was what Fraulein Czuber achieved. 
For some time Viennese Society had been diverted 
by the rumours which reached it of Archduke Fer- 
dinand Charles's homely tastes and habits. He 
liked, it was said, to mix with the middle classes — 
not condescendingly, but as if he were one of them ; 
he liked to retire to a middle-class kitchen, and help 
a homely girl to shell the peas or make the jam; he 
did not mind being seen looking out of the window 
of a middle-class flat, with his arm round a homely 
girl's waist. So gossip whispered; and presently 
gossip was reinforced by the solid fact that the Arch- 
duke, taking his middle-class friends as seriously 
as he took himself and the Imperial family, had 
sworn King Cophetua's royal oath that the homely 
girl should be his bride, and had asked her father's 
permission, just like any middle-class suitor, to pay 
his addresses to her. 

Nothing, surely, could be more admirable; and 
yet Francis Joseph did not admire. He had not 
always drawn the line at actresses, though he knew 
that he ought to have done so. He had been on 
terms of personal friendship with more than one 
actress; and it is not unlikely that his particular 
friend Frau Schratt found occasional opportunities 

289 u 


of putting in a good word for the ornaments of an 
unjustly aspersed profession. But the daughter of 
a high school teacher — a lady who was not even 
notorious — in whose favour there was nothing to be 
said except that she was well bred, well brought up, 
well educated, modest, domesticated, and respect- 
able — that was another matter altogether. There are 
men, as we all know, to whom the open scandal of 
marriage with a woman of the town seems less dis- 
creditable than the commonplace ignominy of union 
to a well-conducted social inferior; and Francis 
Joseph seems to have analogous habits of thought. 

At all events, in this particular case, he put his 
foot down. One must draw the line somewhere — 
that was generally admitted ; and he proposed to 
draw it at the daughters of high-school teachers. 
They might come of healthier stock than Archdukes 
and Archduchesses; their blood might be freer from 
the taint of insanity; and they might be less likely 
to leap their horses over poor people's coffins when 
they were sober and undress to dance in cafes when 
they were drunk. Nevertheless they were unfit — 
grossly and impossibly unfit — to be married by Arch- 
dukes; and if the Archduke Francis Charles did not 
take that view of the matter, then he should be 
an Archduke no longer, but should depart — an im- 
perial castaway — and hide his shame in a foreign 

But the Archduke Ferdinand Charles had not 
Francis Joseph's reverence for caste, and was not 
to be browbeaten. His rights as a man and a lover 
were more to him than his rights as an Archduke 



and a possible heir to the throne; and his instinct 
told him that he was choosing the better part. Frau- 
lein Czuber had never hoped to be an Archduchess ; 
and he would be delighted to relieve her of awkward 
embarrassment by ceasing to be an Archduke. If 
he needed a new name, he had a little property 
at Burg which would supply one. Fraulein Czuber 
would love him as Charles Burg just as much as 
she had loved him as Archduke Ferdinand Charles — - 
better, perhaps, seeing that he would have made a 
sacrifice for her sake. As Herr and Frau Burg, 
therefore, he and she would face the world together. 
So he spoke ; and the thing which he said that he 
would do he did — renouncing, and then disappear- 
ing. He passes out of our narrative as an ordinary 
passenger, driving in an ordinary cab to catch an 
ordinary train, bound for the Riviera — starting 
without even a crowd to note whether rice fell 
when he shook himself or luck-bearing slippers pur- 
sued him. May all good things attend him in the 
middle-class retreat which he has found ! His demon- 
stration against the Habsburg system has been a 
fine one, and has been made in time : a safe escape 
from decadence before the doom was yet in sight; 
a sane escape, and not one of those — too frequent 
among the Habsburgs — of which the true nature and 
underlying motive have been obscured by bizarre 
eccentricities and crying scandals. Whether Francis 
Joseph classes the case among those in which 
Nemesis has smitten him through the members of 
his family is more than one can presume to say. We 
will pass from it to some of those cases in which 

291 u 2 


Francis Joseph has given his consent — sometimes 
with his blessing, and sometimes without it. 

The first case was that of Princess Elizabeth, his 
granddaughter — the eldest daughter of the Arch- 
duchess Gisela, and the sister of that Princess 
Augustine, already mentioned as the wife of the 
Archduke Joseph. She sought a private interview 
with her grandfather, in order to tell him a secret 
which she had not ventured to tell her mother ; and 
the secret was that she had given her heart to Baron 
Otto von Seefried zu Buttenheim, a dashing young 
lieutenant of cavalry in the Bavarian army. It was 
very objectionable — the more so because love, in 
this instance, was laughing not only at rank, but also 
at religion. Otto von Seefried zu Buttenheim was 
a Protestant; and the Houses of Wittelsbach and 
Habsburg resemble each other, not only in their 
liability to mental derangement, but also in the 
soundness of their Catholic principles. 

Still the case was one in which excuses and allow- 
ances could be made. Princess Elizabeth, though a 
granddaughter, was not an Archduchess; the dis- 
grace, if disgrace there was. would fall not on 
Austria, but on Bavaria. Moreover, Otto von See- 
fried zu Buttenheim, though a subaltern, was a 
baron ; and we have several times noted the ancient 
maxim of the Austrian aristocracy that "mankind 
begins with the baron." Creed may count for more 
than lineage in church, and before the throne of 
grace; but lineage counts for more than creed at 
Court and in Society. If principles might be tam- 
pered with at all, this was a proper time for tamper- 



ing with them — especially as Princess Elizabeth 
pleaded very pitifully and prettily. So Francis 
Joseph tampered — showing, as it were, that the 
Habsburgs could afford to be more tolerant than the 
Wittelsbachs because they were greater and grander. 
He not only consented to the marriage, but gave 
the young Bavarian bridegroom a refuge in his 
dominions and a commission in his army. Nor has 
he had any reason to regret his indulgence ; for this 
is one of the happy marriages which have no history. 

And what one says of that marriage — the one 
which made the first effective breach in the wall of 
Habsburg pride and prejudices — one may say of the 
marriages of various other bridal couples who pre- 
sently insisted on following through the breach which 
had been made : the marriage of Archduchess 
Stephanie to Count Lonyay; of Stephanie's 
daughter, the Archduchess Elizabeth, to Otto von 
Windischgraetz ; and of the Archduke Francis Fer- 
dinand to Countess Sophie Chotek. 

Even against those marriages — or against some 
of them — the breach which Princess Elizabeth and 
Otto von Seefried zu Buttenheim had made was to 
be defended ; but the stories are of sufficient interest 
and importance to be related separately. 



The marriage of Archduchess Stephanie to Count Lonyay — 
Attitude of the King of the Belgians towards that mar- 
riage — Attitude of Francis Joseph — He sanctions the 
union, but snubs the bridegroom — Marriage of the 
Archduchess Elizabeth to Otto von Windischgraetz — 
Francis Joseph's approval — The Windischgraetzes 
raised to the rank of Serene Highnesses. 

Through the breach which Princess Elizabeth 
had made the Archduchess Stephanie presently 
insisted upon marching; and it would indeed have 
been cruel to have hindered her from doing so. 
Her life had been an unhappy and a lonely one; 
she had been made to feel that, wherever she might 
be, she was not really wanted. She wished, after 
Rudolph's death, to return to Brussels; but the 
King of the Belgians would not have her there — 
his treatment of her being only less shameful than 
his treatment of her sister, Princess Louise of Saxe- 
Coburg. Remaining in Austria, she realised that 
neither the Emperor nor the Empress liked her, 
though they had no grievance against her beyond 
the fact that she had not attracted Rudolph suffi- 
ciently to save him from himself. Her estrange- 
ment from Rudolph was perpetuated after his death 



by the discovery that his will deprived her of the 
guardianship of her only child. 

Of course there was talk to the effect that she was 
consoling herself — there always is such talk in such 
cases, and there is no need to attach importance to 
it. Presently all the other rumours were silenced 
by the announcement that she loved, and was re- 
solved to marry, Count Lonyay, a gentleman of her 
household. His quarterings were few; but experi- 
ence had not taught Stephanie to associate blue 
blood with devotion and fidelity. Nothing was 
more natural than her desire to make a dash for 
happiness without reference to equality of rank; 
and as her imperial relatives were treating her as 
a person of no importance, there was no particular 
reason why they should object. As a matter of 
fact Francis Joseph did object, and did defend the 
breach; but his resistance was weakened, and his 
surrender precipitated, by the uninvited appearance 
of Stephanie's father as his ally. 

For who, after all, was this King of the Belgians 
that he should make himself the champion of royal 
and imperial exclusiveness ? He was a mere 
-parvenu among Kings : one whose territory had, 
within quite recent times, formed a portion of the 
Austrian dominions, and whose subjects were such 
aggressive democrats that they did not even allow 
him to possess a crown; a scandalous King, too, 
whose ostentatious intrigues with dancing girls were 
derided in all the comic papers of Europe, and who 
punished no one for lese-majeste when his portrait 
and theirs were offered for sale side by side in the 



kiosks at Ostend. How could the Head of the 
House of Habsburg stand shoulder to shoulder in 
support of his caste with such a man as that ? The 
cause was obviously compromised by the alliance, 
and the dignified course for Francis Joseph was to 
show that he could afford to be magnanimous, even 
if Leopold II. could not. 

He took that dignified course, and made that 
magnanimous gesture. " In the name of tradition," 
Leopold II. stopped his daughter's allowance — it 
was only £2,000 a year — and deprived her of her 
title of Royal Highness. Francis Joseph retorted 
by giving his daughter-in-law a considerable sum 
of money, and announcing that she might retain 
her imperial dignities. He cut the nobler figure of 
the two; and praise of his magnanimity rewarded 
him. But his pride nevertheless had to find utter- 
ance; he had to make it clear that, though he con- 
sented, he did not approve, but regarded Count 
Lonyay as an intruder in a family infinitely above 
him. When Stephanie came to Court, she had to 
come without her husband ; and when Stephanie's 
daughter was married, Count Lonyay, though 
suffered to be present in the crowd at the religious 
ceremony, received no invitation to the subsequent 

It sounds petty; and one need not suppose that 
Stephanie did not care. But if Francis Joseph 
could make her unhappy for a day, he could not 
make her unhappy on the whole. One cannot leave 
the subject of her marriage without quoting once 
again her own joyous anticipation of it : — 



" Is it possible ? A long, long terrible night has 
gone by for me, and I see a rosy dawn of hope on 
the clouded sky, a ray of light which tells of the 
rising sun of joy. Will the sun rise in full glory? 
Will he warm me with his rays, and dry the tears 
from my cheeks ? Come, my sun, come ! You 
find a poor faded flower whose freshness has been 
destroyed by the hard frost of fate." 

With that we may leave Stephanie, and pass to 
the story of her daughter's marriage — the marriage 
to which Count Lonyay received no invitation. 

Of all his relatives the Archduchess Elizabeth was 
probably the one whom the Emperor loved the best. 
She saw but little of her mother, who travelled a 
great deal, both before her marriage to Count 
Lonyay and afterwards. Her principal com- 
panions were the daughters of the Archduchess 
Isabella; and her tastes are said to have been 
simple. She was fond of gardening — selling veget- 
ables, to give the proceeds to the poor; and a 
pleasant story is told of her devotion to her fox- 
terrier. The place was the Schonnbrunn Park, 
and the time was winter; her only attendant was 
a footman : — 

' The lively little dog jumped on the fresh ice 
of a fountain, which broke under him. The little 
animal struggled in the water, and Princess Eliza- 
beth called to the footman to save it. The man 
found an excuse and did not move a hand. Then 
the Princess screamed at the top of her voice : 
' You nasty coward ! I'm not half so big as you, 



but I'll go in, even if I get drowned. 5 The man 
held her fast, although she shrieked and struggled, 
and, a gardener coming to the rescue, the little dog 
was saved. But Princess Elizabeth dislikes all 
footmen and flunkeys since that day." 

It seemed as if a destiny of great distinction was 
in store for her. There was even talk of marrying her 
to the German Emperor's son, Prince Eitel Fritz, and 
raising her to the Austrian throne. Whether that 
plan would have proved agreeable to public opinion 
is doubtful ; but a circumstance soon occurred which 
removed it from the sphere of practical matrimonial 
projects. At her very first ball Elizabeth met 
young Otto von Windischgraetz, a lieutenant in the 
lancers. She met him again at tennis-parties at 
Laxenburg; and presently she announced to one of 
her aunts that she meant to marry Otto von 
Windischgraetz, and that, if she were not allowed 
to marry him, she should spend the rest of her days 
in a convent. " Tell your grandfather about it," 
said her aunt; and she went into the next room 
and told him. 

Otto von Windischgraetz was one of the 
Windischgraetzes, and Francis Joseph owed a great 
deal to them. To Alfred von Windischgraetz. in- 
deed, as was shown in an earlier chapter, he may 
almost be said to have owed his throne. But no 
one expected that fact to count with Francis Joseph 
— especially as Otto only belonged to a junior 
branch of the family; and it is quite likely that it 
did not count with him. What did count was his 
affection for his granddaughter. As a rule he in- 



spired his relatives with awe rather than affection; 
but Elizabeth was really fond of him, and he was 
fond of her, and could not bear to see her cry. So 
he listened patiently, and promised to see what 
could be done. For the sequel we may quote Sir 
Horace Rumbold's "Austrian Court in the Nine- 
teenth Century " : — 

" A few days later he sent for the father, Prince 
Ernest Windischgraetz, and talked the matter over 
with him, ending what must have been a somewhat 
trying conversation for the parent of the aspiring 
young man, by telling him that he trusted his grand- 
daughter would receive as kindly a welcome * ' im 
Windischgraetzchen Hause ' as Prince Otto might 
be assured of from him and the Imperial family. 
On the occasion of the marriage, the entire junior 
branch of this old Bohemian house to which the 
bridegroom belonged was given the rank of 
1 Durchlaucht' or Serene Highness." 

So love triumphed again, and triumphed, this 
time, not only without opposition, but also without 
the accompaniment of petty annoyances. One 
would be glad if it were possible to leave this matri- 
monial branch of the subject on that note; but it 
is not. We have already seen that the measure 
meted out to the Archduchess who loved the 
lancer was by no means meted out to the 
Archduke who loved the daughter of the pro- 
fessor of mathematics. The story of Francis 
Joseph's severe attitude towards the romances of 
" Herr Wulfling " and Princess Louisa of Tuscany 
has still to come; and before we reach those stories 



we have to hark back, and consider the case of the 
Archduke Francis Ferdinand and Countess Sophie 
Chotek. That, of all the matrimonial encounters, 
has been the most interesting and the most im- 
portant. It was not a single battle, but a prolonged 
campaign, in which we see Francis Joseph giving 
ground step by step. The final result of the con- 
flict is still uncertain; and the full consequences of 
the victory gained by human affection over the 
Habsburg system cannot be measured and known 
until after Francis Joseph's death. 



The Archduke Francis Ferdinand — An invalid who delayed 
to marry — Report of his betrothal to the Archduchess 
Gabrielle — Announcement of his betrothal to Countess 
Sophie Chotek — Anecdotes of the courtship — Indigna- 
tion of the Archduchess Gabrielle 's mother — Attitude of 
Francis Joseph — He permits the marriage on condition 
that it shall be morganatic — Francis Ferdinand com- 
pelled to swear a solemn oath that he is marrying 
beneath him, and that his children will be unworthy to 
succeed him — Reasons for doubting whether he will 
eventually be bound by his oath. 

Francis Ferdinand is the son of Francis Joseph's 
brother, Charles Louis, and himself the brother of 
the Archduke Otto whose outrageous eccentricities 
we have reviewed, and of the Archduke Frederick 
Charles who wooed and won the homely daughter 
of the mathematical master, after helping her to 
shell the peas. He was not classed in his youth 
with the Archdukes who matter, for he was a deli- 
cate boy, and it seemed unlikely that he would live 
to grow up. Though he grew up, he remained 
delicate, and it was still assumed that he would die 
young. Hence the talk, which came to nothing, of 
marrying the Archduchess Elizabeth to Prince Eitel 



Fritz, and securing the succession to the throne to 
her by a fresh Pragmatic Sanction. 

Whether we regard him as having been well or 
badly brought up depends upon our educational 
ideals. If it be good to be a Catholic, and better 
still to be a bigoted Catholic, then his upbringing 
was admirable. From his earliest years he was 
taught to walk, if not with God, at least with the 
Jesuits : the worthy son of a father of limited in- 
telligence, who combined (if his portraits are to be 
trusted) the smug appearance of a sinister family 
solicitor with the fanaticism of an Ultramontane 
reactionary. There are those, to this day, who sum 
him up with the statement that he is " in the hands 
of the Jesuits " ; but that is a phrase which may. in 
practice, mean anything or nothing. When princes 
and priests form a Holy Alliance, the wisdom of 
the serpent is quite as likely to be found in one 
partner of the combination as in the other. Their 
interests are seldom identical, and exploitation is a 
game at which two can play. 

It mattered little as long as Francis Ferdinand 
was expected to die, at any instant, of consumption ; 
but he did not die of that disease, and perhaps he 
never really had it. He wintered in warm climates ; 
he took cod liver oil; he travelled. Treatment and 
medicine produced the desired effect. Francis 
Ferdinand became as well able as any of his 
relatives to take his place in public life, and had to 
be reckoned with. The question of finding a wife 
for him became urgent. There were plenty of 
Archduchesses available ; why did he not choose one 



The Archduke Francis Ferdinand. 

A dele 


of them and beget an heir? That was what Francis 
Joseph wanted to know when he saw his nephew 
thirty-five or more, and still a bachelor. The 
resulting dialogues are said to have been rather 

Presently rumour began to whisper that Francis 
Joseph had got his way. It was observed that 
Francis Ferdinand paid frequent visits to the 
house of the Archduke Frederick and the Arch- 
duchess Isabella at Presburg. They had charming 
daughters — the Archduchess Gabriel le was particu- 
larly charming. Here, it was felt, well within the 
Habsburg ring-fence, was the opportunity of an 
ideal betrothal; and here, at any rate, was the 
journalist's opportunity for the intelligent anticipa- 
tion of events before they occurred. Various news- 
papers, though not the official ones, grasped that 
opportunity and announced the betrothal. Official 
confirmation, they did not doubt, would come later, 
enabling them to boast : " I told you so." But 
those readers of the newspapers who had been 
admitted to the Archduchess Isabella's family 
circle shook their heads. They had seen what 
they had seen, and they anticipated quite other 

The Archduchess Isabella had. a lady-in-waiting 
— Countess Sophie Chotek : a member of a 
Bohemian family, which, though old, was poor, 
and not of the highest order of nobility. Her 
father had held a governorship in Bohemia; her 
brother was a provincial official of moderate, but not 
excessive, dignity. But Francis Ferdinand, while 



charmingly polite to the Archduchess Gabrielle, was 
more often to be seen sitting in cosy corners with 
Countess Sophie Chotek. Often and often he sat 
a whole evening with her in a cosy corner, talking 
gloomily about his health, and complaining of the 
rigorous prescriptions of the doctors. Cod-liver oil, 
he said, was horrid stuff. It did him no good; 
he should stop taking it. 

And Countess Sophie Chotek reasoned and 
pleaded with him, as womanly women do. Of 
course, cod-liver oil was good for him — he mustn't 
be silly, and pretend that he knew better than the 
doctors; a peppermint lozenge would take away the 
taste. Anyhow, take it he really must, not only for 
his own sake, but for the sake of those to whom his 
life was precious. 

" For my sake — to please me," she concluded 
coaxingly; and Francis Ferdinand promised, and 
found that the medicine did work the promised 
miracle. He got better and better, until he was 
quite well; and there was joy in the House of 
Habsburg, and all the Archdukes and Archduchesses 
were grateful to Countess Sophie Chotek. It de- 
lighted the Archduchess Isabella in particular to 
see that her lady-in-waiting had such a good in- 
fluence over the heir-apparent, and had succeeded, 
after everyone else had failed, in modifying his 
attitude towards his medicine. It did not occur to 
her that cod-liver oil was a potion which could 
operate as a love philtre, or that the conversations 
conducted in the cosy corners might have run on 
from cod-liver oil to other and more intimate themes. 



But so it was ; and while the Archduchess Isabella 
was giving Countess Sophie Chotek great credit 
for her tact, Countess Sophie Chotek was, in truth, 
displaying even more tact than the Archduchess 
was giving her credit for. For it came to this : that 
while the Archduke Francis Ferdinand was sup- 
posed to be nursing himself with a view to proposing 
marriage to the Archduchess's daughter, he was, in 
fact, offering the devotion of a lifetime to the Arch- 
duchess's lady-in-waiting. He was not only taking 
his oil three times a day for her sake; he was also 
declaring that, if it cured him, he should feel that 
he owed his life to her, and should show his grati- 
tude by begging her to unite her life to his. It was 
understood between them that, when he did ask her 
to do this, she would not refuse; but meanwhile 
they kept their counsel until an accident disclosed 
their secret. 

That secret came to light because Francis 
Ferdinand — or perhaps his valet — was a careless 
packer. He had been at Halbthurn on a visit to 
the Archduke Frederick; and when he had taken 
his departure, a servant came to the Archduchess 
Isabella and told her that he had left a quantity of 
jewellery behind him on the dressing-table. It had, 
of course, to be sent after him ; and the Archduchess 
thought it better to see to the matter herself. She 
went to the bedroom, therefore, to collect and review 
the jewellery, and the inspection gave her a shock. 
She spoke to a servant : 

" Tell Countess Chotek I desire to see her imme- 

305 x 


Countess Sophie Chotek obeyed her summons, 
and was greeted with : 

" This calls for an explanation, miss. Pray, what 
have you to say for yourself ? " 

"This" being a medallion portrait of the Coun- 
tess discovered among Francis Ferdinand's personal 

One can imagine that the blow was a severe one 
to an Imperial mother who had cherished the hope 
of marrying her Imperial daughter to the heir- 
apparent. One can further easily believe that the 
explanation, if any, which was offered was un- 
acceptable. One can almost fancy that one hears 
the climax of the dialogue : 

" That will do. You need say nothing more ; 
but you will leave my house at once. I give you 
half an hour in which to pack." 

Of course, Countess Sophie could not pack in 
half an hour, but had to go without her luggage ; of 
course, too, the discovery of a portion of her secret 
entailed the revelation of the whole of it, though so 
far as the public were concerned it was only made 
known by degrees. First came the report that 
Francis Joseph and Francis Ferdinand were, for 
some unknown reason, not on speaking terms, and 
that the Court officials were snubbing Francis Fer- 
dinand with educated insolence. Then came the 
rumour that Francis Ferdinand was going to re- 
nounce his archducal rights, marry Countess Sophie 
Chotek, leave Austria, and take up his residence 
with her at the Villa d'Este, at Rome. Finally 
came the official notification that the marriage would 



take place — that the Emperor had sanctioned it — 
but on terms. 

And the nature of those terms? 

This is not a Court history, and there is no need 
to gloss them over, — they shall be described with 
absolute frankness, and in plain language. The 
stipulation which the prestige of the House of 
Habsburg was held to require was this : that 
affronts should be publicly put on the bride before, 
during, and after the ceremony. The view officially 
taken of her may be said to be summed up in the 
carefully worded speech which the Emperor, gor- 
geously attired in his Field- Marshal's uniform, read 
at a special meeting of his Privy Council. Every 
phrase in it should be noted with care : — 

" I have invited the members of my House, my 
Privy Councillors, and my Ministers to attend to- 
day's ceremony because the declaration which will 
be made is of the highest importance to the 
monarchy. Inspired by the wish always to provide 
as best I can for the members of my high House, 
and to give my nephew a new proof of special love, 
I have consented to his marriage with Countess 
Sophie Chotek. The Countess descends, it is true, 
from noble lineage; but her family is not one of 
those which, according to the customs of our House, 
we regard as our equals. Now, as only women from 
equal Houses can be regarded as equal in birth, this 
marriage must be regarded in the light of a mor- 
ganatic marriage, and the children which, with 
God's blessing, will spring from it cannot be given 
the rights of members of the Imperial House. The 
Archduke will, therefore, to make this certain for 

307 x 2 


all time, to-day take an oath to the effect that he 
recognises all this, that he recognises his marriage 
with Countess Chotek to be a morganatic one, 
that the consequences are that the marriage cannot 
be regarded as one between equals, and that the 
children springing from it can never be regarded 
as rightful children, entitled to the rights of 
members of our House. I beg the Minister of my 
Imperial House to read the oath which the Arch- 
duke will swear." 

The Emperor's voice is said to have been " full 
of emotion" while he recited this solemn mani- 
festo. One would like to attribute at least a little 
of the emotion to regret that his family pride re- 
quired him to insult a woman who, far from doing 
him any harm, had saved his nephew's life by 
coaxing him to obey his physicians ; but it is difficult 
to picture Francis Joseph as melted to tenderness 
by the idyll of the cod-liver oil. In any case, his 
emotion, whatever it may have been, was not allowed 
to interfere with the ceremony, which was continued 
with an ecclesiastical pomp indicating that Francis 
Joseph does, indeed, at times, mistake himself for 
God and the Archdukes for archangels, who are 
failing to behave as such. 

It was Francis Ferdinand's turn. Bowing to the 
Emperor, he advanced to the table, on which stood 
a crucifix, laid his first and middle fingers on the 
Testament which was held up to him by the Arch- 
bishop of Vienna, and read the oath from a paper 
which he held in his left hand. This is the remark- 
able text of it : — 



" I, Francis Ferdinand, by the grace of God, 
Archduke of Austria, swear to God the Almighty 
that I recognise the House Laws always, and, in 
the case of my marriage with Sophie, Countess 
Chotek, specially; that I accept the oath read to 
me, with all its clauses, and therefore recognise that 
my marriage with Sophie Chotek is a morganatic 
one ; that the children which, with God's blessing, 
may spring from this marriage, will not be equal in 
birth, and, according to the Pragmatic sanction, will 
not be entitled to succeed to the throne, either in 
Austria or in Hungary." 

The two speeches sound like the last lingering 
echoes of medievalism; and Francis Joseph, in 
spite of the successive shocks which experience has 
given him, probably retains more mediaeval ideas 
than any other contemporary ruler. The superiority 
of the Habsburgs to the rest of mankind — at all 
events, of Austrian mankind — is not, for him, a pro- 
position which needs to be demonstrated; it is a 
law of thought. He does not argue about it, or 
expect others to argue about it, but finds it in his 
consciousness together with his conceptions of space 
and time. What others may do counts for nothing 
in comparison with what the Habsburgs are\ and 
that though a simple-minded seeker after truth who 
should ask what they are, could be told little in 
reply except that they are the Habsburgs. Gold 
similarly is esteemed a nobler metal than iron, 
though it cannot be fashioned into such effective 
swords or ploughshares. 

On that principle, therefore — the principle that 



to be is more than to do, and that the function of 
those who can do is to serve those who are — Francis 
Joseph took his stand : thoroughly believing in it — 
himself at once the worshipper and the worshipped ; 
no more regarding his declaration of his own im- 
measurable superiority to other men as an insult to 
those to whom he declared himself superior than 
the judge so regards his admonition of the convicted 
prisoner in the dock. One can only insult one's 
equals. Any day on which the Head of the House 
of Habsburg decides a point of precedence takes 
rank as a Judgment Day — a day on which there 
can be only one answer to the question : Shall 
not the Judge of All the Earth do right? It 
was a matter of course that the prelates of the 
State Church lent themselves to the doctrine; 
for that is what the prelates of a State Church 
are for. 

So that it was a matter of course that Francis 
Ferdinand should be required to proclaim urbi et 
orbi that he was marrying beneath him; that the 
marriage should be condemned to be a hole-and- 
corner affair which even the bridegroom's brothers 
did not attend; that the bride's status should be 
left so undignified that it was not permissible to her 
to attend the opera with her husband, or to sit in the 
Imperial stand with him at the races. But though that 
was Francis Joseph's official attitude as an Emperor 
and a Habsburg, he was also a man and a brother, 
capable of tolerance and condescension — increas- 
ingly capable of it as the years went by. Flexibility, 
good nature, weariness of the long struggle with 



the Zeit Geist — one does not know to which of 
these things to attribute the modification of his tone ; 
but he has modified it. Francis Ferdinand has been 
taken back into favour and allowed to hold the 
highest offices suitable for him ; and Countess Sophie 
Chotek has been promoted to be Duchess of Hohen- 
berg. She does not yet rank with the Archduchesses, 
but she does take her place in the hierarchy imme- 
diately after them. 

How will she rank eventually, after the inevitable 
day on which Francis Joseph is gathered to his 
fathers? That is a question which must soon, in 
the course of nature, present itself; and it would 
be a great mistake to suppose that it was settled, 
once and for all, when Francis Ferdinand stood 
before the crucifix and swore that his wife was, and 
that his children would be, inferior persons, un- 
worthy to be related to him. It is not merely that 
"Jove laughs at lovers' perjuries," or that Francis 
Ferdinand's heart rejects the Habsburg superstition 
to which we have seen him rendering lip service. 
One must also remember that knots of this kind 
can never be tied so tightly that no way of 
untying them can be found by adroit and willing 

No doubt the Archduke is a religious man who 
understands the nature of an oath; but he was 
" brought up by the Jesuits," and one suspects that 
he has not been brought up by them for nothing. 
All Catholics are addicted to casuistry, and the 
Jesuits specialise in it; nor does one need any extra- 
ordinary shrewdness to divine the insidious ques- 



tions which may be invoked as solvents of a situa- 
tion which Francis Joseph believed himself to have 
made hard and fast. Let us set them forth in 
order : — 

1. Granted that Francis Ferdinand had the right 
to swear away his own rights, had he any right to 
swear away the potential rights of persons still 
unborn ? 

2. Granted that Francis Ferdinand is personally 
bound by his oath, on what grounds can that oath 
fetter the freedom of action of the Hungarian and 
Austrian Parliaments? 

3. Cannot the Pope, to whom God has given the 
power to loose and bind, free any man from any 
obligation, even though he has sworn by bell, book, 
and candle to bow to it? 

4. Would it not be right and reasonable for the 
Pope to accord that dispensation to such a religious 
man as Francis Ferdinand? Would it not be to 
the interest of the Church that he should do so? 

5. Is there any particular reason why the Austrian 
and Hungarian Parliaments should not petition him 
to take that course ? 

Upon the answers given to those questions, and 
not upon the text of the oath which Francis Fer- 
dinand swore, the ultimate inheritance of the Empire 
will depend. They are questions to which, so far 
as logic goes, one answer is as good as another; 
which means that the answer actually given to them 
will be dictated by expediency and the wishes of 
the influential. Those who picture Francis Fer- 
dinand dutifully abiding by his pledges because he 



The Dtchess of Hohenberg 

(Wife of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand). 


is a religious man not only misjudge him, but mis- 
judge religious people generally. There is always 
a Higher Law — the universe is full of Higher 
Laws. One can always appeal to them; and, if 
one is an Emperor, one may have the advantage 
of being judge in one's own case. Francis Fer- 
dinand will enjoy that advantage presently; and 
it remains to be seen what use he will make of 
it. The issue is not yet, though it cannot be long 

Meanwhile, one may salute Francis Ferdinand 
respectfully as one who has fought a good fight, and 
has not been content with half successes. His wife 
is a clever woman who knows how to bide her time, 
and does not go out of her way to make unnecessary 
enemies. He himself has his party, which looks 
likely to be the party of the future. The blow 
which he has struck at the Habsburg system is the 
hardest blow which that system has yet sustained, 
because he has struck it with dignity and self- 
restraint, gratifying the instinctive Habsburg crav- 
ing for the infusion of fresh bood without provoking 
any of those scandals which give the enemy occa- 
sion to blaspheme. If the Papacy was in 
earnest when it admonished the Habsburgs for 
their consanguineous unions, then he may fairly 
claim that the Pope is his ally in the battle. 

One cannot say the same of the acts of rebellion 
which have to be reviewed next, though they too 
have served their purpose as object-lessons : crown- 
ing proofs to be cited in support of the thesis that 
the Habsburg system of in-breeding in order to 



develop an unique type of man and woman is a 
failure, and that nature, expelled with a pitchfork, 
is apt to return — an old friend with a new face, 
exaggerating even to the point of grotesqueness the 
normal man and woman's passion for romance. 



The " terrible year " of the Habsburg annals — Proceedings of 
Princess Louisa of Tuscany — The taint inherited from 
the Bourbons of Parma — Princess Louisa's suitors — Her 
Marriage to Prince Frederick August of Saxony — She 
bicycles with the dentist — She runs away to Switzerland 
with her brother, the Archduke Leopold, and her 
children's tutor — Attitude of the Courts towards her 
escapade — Official notice on the subject in the Wiener 

The "terrible year" in the family annals of the 
House of Habsburg began towards the end of 1902. 
Before then, though many Archdukes and Arch- 
duchesses had caused trouble, they had raised the 
flag of rebellion independently — one at a time. Now 
we see a brother and a sister making a simultaneous 
and concerted demonstration; Princess Louisa of 
Tuscany embarking on the adventure which united 
her, for a season (and still legally unites her) to 
Signor Toselli, and the Archduke Leopold Fer- 
dinand adopting the style of " Herr Wulfling " in 
order to be free to follow the promptings of an 
impulsive heart. 

Princess Louisa has told her own story. It is the 
story, of course, of a woman placed on her defence, 
replying to charges, making out a case for her- 



self, and it therefore requires to be read critically ; 
but the holes which criticism can pick in it do not 
affect the general verisimilitude of the picture. Most 
of the facts, after all, were too notorious to be dis- 
puted. All that was possible was a manifesto of 
motives; and Princess Louisa's exposition of these 
was entitled to an attentive and respectful hearing. 
She, at least, might be supposed to know why she 
did the things which the whole world knew her to 
have done. It may be, indeed, that she wrote some 
of her pages as one who desired to deceive; but 
that desire only related, at the most, to a few points 
of detail. The net impression of the narrative is one 
of winning candour. Princess Louisa could not, 
of course, criticise herself from a detached stand- 
point; but she explained herself. 

There seems, at the first blush, to be a certain 
confusion of thought in her explanations. One 
cannot always make out whether she is excusing her 
conduct on the ground that she is a Habsburg and 
therefore mad, or patting herself on the back for 
having followed the sane and sensible, as well as 
the romantic course; but it is also a little difficult 
to make out which of the two lines would have 
been the proper one for her to take. There is a 
point of view — it has already been expounded in 
these pages — from which her precipitate descent 
from dizzy heights of grandeur presents some of the 
aspects of Christian's flight from the City of Destruc- 
tion; but it must in justice be added that Princess 
Louisa, having been born in the City of Destruction, 
and having spent her impressionable years in it, 



had herself acquired some of the characteristics of 
the inhabitants. The true picture, perhaps, is that 
of an abnormal character stimulated by a sane in- 
stinct to sudden, unexpected, and eccentric action. 

It was not on her father's side only that there was 
insanity in her house. Her mother was a Bourbon 
Parma; and about the Bourbons of Parma, Princess 
Louisa neither has, nor affects to have, any illusions. 
They are madder than the Habsburgs, and have 
none of their redeeming qualities. The character 
sketches which Princess Louisa gives us of her 
maternal great-grandfather, Duke Charles of Parma, 
and Lucca, and of her uncle, Duke Robert of Parma, 
are sketches of lunatics ; though the instinctive per- 
ception that the royal family party was a City of 
Destruction from which it was imperative to escape 
for self-realisation in the atmosphere of romance 
appears in her account of his relations with his 
Duchess, who "bored him to tears" : — 

" She was devote and excessively plain, and when- 
ever he returned from a visit to Parma, he was wont 
to exclaim : ' // faut absolument que faille me 
retremper aupres (Tune jolie femme apres ce tombeau 
de mon illustre compagneT 

Nor is that all ; for Princess Louisa does not ex- 
haust the subject. She might also have spoken of 
certain Parma cousins — nineteen children of a single 
father. Some sixteen of them are said to be, or to 
have been, of feeble intellect. One hears of one 
of them wandering about in the pathetic belief that 
she is Marie- Antoinette, carrying an orange with her, 



and insisting that it is her head which has recently 
been cut off. It is not difficult to picture Princess 
Louisa thinking her way to the conclusion that to 
be of royal birth was to come of tainted stock. She 
would be more likely to come to that conclusion if 
one may assume that the seeds of morbidity were 
latent in her even when her youthful high spirits 
concealed them. 

It would not have mattered — or, at any rate, it 
would have mattered less — if the truths of eugenics 
had been revealed to her in time, and she had fought, 
while still a girl, for the right to dispose of her 
heart as she chose. That is to say that a genuine 
romance, at that age, might have saved her from a 
great deal. But love did not come; and she was 
only a girl, and a sufficiently " good girl " to do as 
she was told, though not without a high-spirited 
girl's disposition to laugh at uncongenial suitors. 
She laughed at Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, now 
King of Bulgaria, though she would probably have 
married him if there had not been a division of 
opinion in her family as to the desirability of the 
alliance; and she sums up the matter in retrospect 
thus : — 

" I do not wish to imply that a princess is forced 
to accept the first suitor who presents himself. She 
can choose her future husband within certain limits, 
but as most princes and kings are very much alike, 
choice is not a difficult matter after all. Part of our 
education is to accept without question whatever lies 
upon the knees of the gods, and although every prin- 
cess doubtless at some time dreams of an ideal 



Prince Charming, she rarely meets him, and she 
usually marries someone quite different from the 
hero of her girlhood's dreams." 

There was some talk of marrying Princess Louisa 
to Dom Pedro— a sort of a cousin, the nephew of 
the Empress of Brazil ; and she tells us what became 
of that suitor : — 

" Poor Dom Pedro ! Three years after our meet- 
ing he went mad, and he is now under restraint in 
a castle somewhere in Austria." 

Then Frederick August of Saxony — the present 
King of Saxony — was presented. Princess Louisa 
rather liked him, and she married him; and it is 
noteworthy that, though she ran away from him — 
impelled by something not herself which made for 
liberty — she speaks of him in her book without any 
trace of bitterness. He meant well, one gathers, but 
was not intelligent enough to understand his wife, 
who certainly appears to have had many perplexing 
characteristics, and allowed the well of his natural 
affection to be poisoned by evil counsellors. The 
details are set forth in " My Own Story"; but it is, 
of course, necessary to remember, when reviewing 
them, that, though Princess Louisa has told her 
story, the King of Saxony has not yet told his. 

One's first impression is of a conflict between 
natural instincts and artificial conventions. What 
with their devotion to religion and etiquette — and 
their inability to distinguish the one thing from the 
other — the Heads of the Saxon House were doubt- 
less difficult companions for an impulsive child of 



nature. They were stiff and pompous out of all 
proportion to their importance — as if they had all 
swallowed pokers in the cradle; and Princess Louisa 
came among them like a Daughter of Heth, and 
behaved accordingly — but more so. It would be 
hopeless to attempt to make separate catalogues of 
the things which she did and the things which she 
is only said to have done; but it is clear that she 
was a romp deficient in veneration for the common 
objects of worship in royal and Catholic circles. 

She had a gallery to play to. The common people 
admired and applauded ; and there have, from time 
to time, been many indications that Princess Louisa' s 
passion for publicity is not less strong and instinctive 
than her passion for romance. In a Protestant 
country ruled over by Catholic sovereigns, her ob- 
stinate refusal to confess to a Jesuit was naturally 
a popular demonstration. Protestants everywhere 
regard Jesuits as the most odious of all ecclesiastics, 
and confession as the most ridiculous of all modes 
of religious activity. In advanced democratic circles, 
too, enthusiasm was naturally aroused by the report 
that she had chosen a dentist for the companion of 
her bicycle rides in the Dresden Park. It was high 
time, in view of the democrats, that the royal family 
accepted the dentist as a man and a brother; for 
whereas several civilised countries had contrived to 
get on without Kings, a country without dentists 
would be intolerable. 

The royal family, however, blinded by super- 
stitious prejudices, declined to take that view of the 
matter. Whether friendship for dentists or dislike 



of Jesuits was the more reprehensible trait in Prin- 
cess Louisa's character, they either did not know or 
did not think it worth while to say. They summed 
the matter up by declaring that that was what came 
of reading Nietzsche ; and one hears of an attempt 
to stem the tide of evil influence by tearing up Prin- 
cess Louisa's copy of " Thus Spake Zarathustra." 
It was about as effective as the famous attempt to 
stop an earthquake by taking a pill ; and the drama 
was quickly advanced another stage. The members 
of the royal family, putting their heads together, 
came to the conclusion that a woman who preferred 
bicycling with dentists to confessing her sins to 
Jesuits must be mad, and must, without delay, be 
locked up in a lunatic asylum. Whereupon Princess 
Louisa, having got an inkling of what was about 
to happen, took to flight. 

No one will blame her; for no one will believe that 
her fears were illusory. If there is one circumstance 
which suggests scepticism of the fact that the per- 
centage of insanity is higher in royal than in other 
families, it is the fact that members of royal families 
are unscrupulously ready to accuse each other of 
insanity, and place each other under restraint. 
The case of Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg, whom 
Count Mattatich rescued from her prison like a 
gallant knight of old, is only one of many cases of 
which Princess Louisa of Tuscany may have be- 
thought herself. Bethinking herself of it, she fled 
to her father's house at Salzburg; and when her 
father refused to help her — being one of those 
stupid old men to whom it is too much trouble 

321 y 


to do anything definite — she fled, yet again, 
to Switzerland. But not alone, and not, it 
must be added, with the dentist. With her went 
her brother, the Archduke Leopold; after her 
came her son's tutor, M. Giron. We will say what 
needs to be said about M. Giron in a moment; but 
a word about the Archduke Leopold must come first. 
Leopold, like Louisa, was, at that hour the hero 
of a romance; though it was not his first romance, 
and was not to be his last. His first love had been 
Elvira, the daughter of the Spanish Pretender, Don 
Carlos. The proposed marriage had, for some 
reason, fallen through; and Elvira had consoled her- 
self for her disappointment by eloping with a 
married man. Now, Leopold was determined to 
marry Wilhelmina Adamovics, the daughter of a 
post office official at Iglau : a minor lady of the 
theatre, with two sisters, one of them on the stage, 
and the other married to an unimportant employe 
in one of the State tobacco factories. He had been 
sent to Egypt, to be out of the way of temptation; 
but he had returned to the temptation as soon as 
he got back to Austria. For the sake of Wilhelmina 
Adamovics he was prepared, not only to take the 
humble name of Herr Wulfling, but also to sacrifice 
his allowance of forty thousand crowns a year and 
his pay as a colonel in the Austrian army. He and 
she, and Princess Louisa, and M. Giron — a most 
respectable young man, and the nephew of the Pro- 
fessor of Public and Administrative Law at Brussels 
— were to face the cold world together as a Romantic 
Quadruple Alliance. And, meanwhile, Princess 



Louisa was being pursued with Olympian thunders 
from the various homes which she had left : thunders 
which took the various forms of denunciation, 
punishment, and prayer. 

First of all, there was the official notification of 
her departure. It said nothing about the peril of the 
lunatic asylum from which she had escaped, but 
simply charged her with having " ignored all her 
family ties and proceeded abroad." Then came the 
Court Chaplain, who, similarly avoiding all reference 
to the essential fact, invited the prayers of the con- 
gregation for the Princess's return to " virtuous 
courses." He must have known that she could only 
return to those courses at the peril of her liberty; 
but he may be assumed to have taken the view that 
it is the function of a Court Chaplain to pray as 
he is told. Next followed the intimation that the 
Crown Prince of Saxony was considering by what 
means he could obtain the divorce to which, accord- 
ing to the law of his Church, he clearly was not 
entitled ; and there also came a telegram from Grand 
Duke Ferdinand — " Nous avons d'autres enfants, 
nous ne pouvons nous occuper de toi " — and finally 
Francis Joseph himself took the steps which he con- 
sidered incumbent on him. The following notice 
appeared in the Wiener Zeitung on January 28, 
1903 :— 

"We learn that the Emperor, in virtue of the 
powers vested in him as Head of the Reigning 
House, has considered it incumbent on him to direct 
that all the rights, honours, and privileges hitherto 
appertaining to the Consort of the Crown Prince of 

323 y 2 


Saxony as an Archduchess of Austria by birth shall 
be suspended, and that this suspension shall also 
be maintained in the event of the impending divorce 
proceedings leading to the results provided for in 
paragraph 1577 of the Civil Code for the Empire; 
that the Princess shall again receive her original 
family names, and that she shall accordingly be 
prohibited henceforth from making use of the title 
of Imperial Princess, Archduchess, or Royal Prin- 
cess of Hungary, etc., and from using her ancestral 
archducal arms with the archducal emblems. Fur- 
thermore, she shall no longer have any claim to the 
title of Imperial and Royal Highness, and all rights 
connected with such title shall in future be relin- 
quished by her." 

What does it all amount to? 

On cold analysis it amounts to this : that, if Prin- 
cess Louisa could have been caught, she would have 
been placed in an asylum on the assumption that she 
was mad, and that, as she could not be caught, she was 
to be punished, in contumaciam, on the assumption 
that she was sane. Whether she was actually sane 
or mad may be a point which it is beyond the province 
of Francis Joseph's biographer to settle; but he 
may, at least, permit himself to point out that 
she cannot have been, at one and the same time, both 
responsible and irresponsible for her actions, and 
that the readiness of the heads of both her own and 
her adopted family to pass from the one assumption 
to the other, to suit their convenience, betokens 
a shiftiness incompatible with the doctrine that 
Kings, Princes, and Emperors are necessarily up- 
right, honest, or honourable men. 



We will let that point go, however, and turn back 
to follow the fortunes of the members of the Romantic 
Quadruple Alliance in Switzerland, where their war 
against the House of Habsburg was witnessed by 
innumerable war correspondents from two hemi- 



The romantic Quadruple Alliance — The jarring notes — Prin- 
cess Louisa's objections to her brother's companion 
Fraulein Adamovics — The sentimental life of the Arch- 
duke Leopold — He becomes " Herr Wulfling," and 
marries Fraulein Adamovics — Herr and Frau Wulfling 
run wild in woods — Herr Wulfling divorces his wife and 
marries again — His confidences to Signor Toselli — Prin- 
cess Louisa's conception of the Simple Life — Her 
manners shock the Swiss — She dismisses M. Giron — Her 
marriage to Signor Toselli. 

There were wheels within wheels ; and the mem- 
bers of the Romantic Quadruple Alliance were not 
absolutely united. They could hold together in 
the presence of alarums and excursions; but inti- 
macy and reflection discovered weak points in the 
combination. The dissidence was not quite so 
sudden or pronounced as in the case of those Balkan 
States which temporarily made common cause 
against Turkey; but lines of cleavage were never- 
theless soon revealed, impairing the solidity of the 
entente, and introducing an appearance of comedy, 
not to say farce, into what should have been a drama 
of sustained and purely serious interest. 

The first jarring note was struck when Princess 
Louisa made the acquaintance of Wilhelmina 



Adamovics. The ex-actress ran into the bedroom 
of the ex-Archduchess at Zurich, bursting with affec- 
tion, and eager to take a new sister to her arms; 
but the ex-Archduchess was not so democratic as 
all that. Though she had bicycled with the dentist 
and made assignations with the tutor, she could 
not forget that she was a Habsburg, but retained 
enough family pride to feel that it should have 
been left to her to take the initiative in emotional 
demonstration. " The newcomer," she tells us, 
"was obviously not of my world"; and she 
continues : — 

" I was taken aback. I had not expected this, 
and I did not want it. I knew, indeed, that Leopold 
had fallen in love with a beautiful girl of the people, 
but it never crossed my mind that he intended to 
marry her, and I felt instinctively that her arrival 
in our midst would upset all our plans. 

" I tried, however, to disguise my annoyance, and 
to put some warmth into my greeting, but she was 
quite impossible, and I subsequently discovered that 
she had not even been trained in the rudiments of 
the art of behaving at table." 

It was a bad beginning; and it was not made any 
better by the representations of the Vienna news- 
papers that " the flight of the Crown Princess was 
exclusively due to her brother Leopold's influence." 
Their cue seems to have been to depreciate Leopold ; 
and this is the place in which to reproduce the 
character sketch of him printed in the Neue Freie 
Presse : — 

" Archduke Leopold Ferdinand " (we there read) 



" is a very intelligent man, but somewhat eccentric, 
whimsical in a high degree, and difficult to manage. 
A prominent feature of his character is irony and 
sarcasm. He has in this way given much dis- 
pleasure to officers of high rank, and this is the only 
reason why, in spite of his jovial and agreeable 
manner, he has made no friends in the army. While 
at Iglau he was constantly in conflict with the com- 
mander of the regiment. Thus, one day he went out 
riding disguised as a lady, in company with another 
officer, and was seen and recognised by his com- 
manding officer, who, of course, took him to task. 
He hates etiquette, loves free and easy manners, 
and has always had little intercourse with the aristo- 
cracy, preferring lively young people of the middle 

The free-and-easiness of the Archduke's manners 
had, indeed, manifested itself in the presence of 
Francis Joseph himself, on the day on which 
he was summoned to the Emperor's presence to be 
told that his way of life was dissolute and in- 
decorous. He did not, like John Orth, pelt the 
Emperor with the insignia of his Orders; but he 
found another means, not less effective, of carrying 
the war into the enemy's camp, bowing politely and 
responding : 

" I hear what you say, sir, but I fail to see why 
I should pay any attention to it. If there is a mote 
in my eye, there is a beam in yours. When you 
speak of such matters as these, I do not regard you 
as the Emperor of Austria — I merely regard you 
as Herr Schratt." 

And so saying, he ceremoniously bowed himself 



out before Francis Joseph could lay his finger on 
the electric button which would have summoned the 
secret police. 

Thus, by that tu quo que, he justified his own 
preference for " lively young people of the middle- 
class"; but it nevertheless seems that, in Switzer- 
land, the particular liveliness of Fraulein Adam- 
ovics, after jarring from the first upon his sister's 
taste, came eventually to jar upon his own. It 
transpired in the course of time — in the course of 
a very short time, in fact — that the tastes, manners, 
and customs of Fraulein Adamovics deviated from 
the healthy norm no less than those of the more 
eccentric of the Habsburgs, albeit in a different 
direction. Her passion for the simple life and the 
return to nature lured her on to proceedings hardly 
compatible with sanity. The goal of self-realisa- 
tion, it seemed to her, could only be attained if men 
and women divested themselves of their clothing, 
and climbed trees in order to crack nuts. 

A strange doctrine truly, and one to be condemned 
by those pragmatists who bid us test every doctrine 
by the touchstone question: "Will it work?" It 
found its condemnation in this case, when " Herr 
Wulfling " began to translate theory into practice. 
After running wild in woods for a season, he was 
persuaded by the jeers of a passer-by to visit a 
barber's shop; and the sudden sight which he got of 
himself in the barber's mirror — the spectacle of a 
hirsute savage suggesting a Wild Man from 
Borneo — decided him to return to civilisation by 
the shortest cut available. He ran to the nearest 



slop-shop, put himself into a reach-me-down check- 
suit, engaged rooms in a pension, and shortly after- 
wards divorced the wife who had lured him 
into his amazing courses, and sought another wife 
of a more commonplace kind. 

His second wife was a Swiss lady — Fraulein 
Ritter — and his union to her appears to have been 
more fortunate. He acquired the rights of citizen- 
ship in the Canton of Zug; and he presently ob- 
tained damages in a Swiss Court of Law against a 
journalist, who circulated the report that he had 
always lived, and was still living, a disorderly life, 
and had refused to pay his rates. The dispute 
about the rates was only a dispute about an assess- 
ment; and the tribunal endorsed counsel's favour- 
able estimate of Herr Wulfling's personal worth. It 
is interesting to compare that estimate with the de- 
preciatory paragraph quoted from the Neue Frcie 
Presse ; and we may borrow the report of the Inde- 
pendance Beige : — 

"In Austria" (we there read)"M. Leopold 
Wulfling was indifferent to the attractions of 
fashionable life, but enjoyed himself in middle- 
class society. He w r as understood to be one of the 
most cultivated members of the archducal house. 
He speaks and writes ten or a dozen languages 
correctly, and has a knowledge of mathematics and 
astronomy which would qualify him to occupy a 
professorial chair in any University in the world. 
He is also an experienced navigator of the seas. 
At Salzburg, where he lived for a long time, he 
became very popular. His superiors considered 



him too considerate to the soldiers serving under 
his orders. His relations with his father continued 
to be extremely cordial even after he had retired 
from the army. It is absolutely untrue to say that 
he has been compelled to abandon the profession 
of arms; but the resignation of his titles involved 
the resignation of his commission. Note that of all 
his Orders he has kept only the modest Cross of 
Merit bestowed upon the young Archduke by the 
Emperor himself for saving two men from drown- 


Decidedly the Archduke Leopold had the beau 
role on that occasion. Not only did he leave the 
Swiss Court without a stain on his character, but 
his calumniator narrowly escaped imprisonment for 
defamation, and had to pay a heavy fine. It 
was at about this date that Signor Toselli made his 
acquaintance, and was inspired to the following pen 
portrait of the Archduke : — 

" He was a tall, fine man, fair, stout, loud-voiced, 
and genial. He lived in an English boarding- 
house, where he did exactly as he liked. He 
trailed about most of the day in carpet slippers." 

Some may think that that was carrying liberty to 
the verge of licence ; but it is perhaps not less natural 
for an Archduke unwittingly to infringe the etiquette 
of boarding-houses than for a parvenu to infringe 
the etiquette of Courts. In Austria, it has been 
said, the aristocracy dare not ask the professors to 
dinner for fear lest, if they were worldly enough to 
dress for the banquet, they should wear green ties 
with their dress clothes. Herr Wulfling, at any 



rate, spoke his mind about Courts and Kings — and 
also about his sister : — 

" Court life is stupid, dull, and wretched. Every- 
thing about it is insufferable. I cannot breathe at 
Court. A free man has the world at his feet, but 
a Prince or King is the puppet of his surroundings." 

And also, on another occasion : — 

"Kings are just like other men. Not one in a 
hundred is worth a cent; perhaps even that is an 
exaggerated estimate. As for my sister, she is a 
crazy creature. At her age she might surely keep 
out of mischief." 

That was rather an unkind criticism, especially 
so soon after he and Princess Louisa had made the 
plunge into the simple life together ; but it appears 
that, though Princess Louisa had, like her brother, 
the courage of her convictions, she was more a 
creature of impulse, more inclined to pose, and less 
consistent in her view of the obligations of sim- 
plicity. Half the journalists of Europe had assem- 
bled at Geneva, as we have seen, to give her a 
gallery to play to; and she played to that gallery 
like an operatic star, taking the air with M. Giron 
daily, amid the applause of the collected populace, 
and thereby somewhat shocking the opinion of the 
rigid City of Calvin. This is how, speaking to the 
wife of an artist who called on her, she manifested 
her joy in her emancipation : — 

" What a happy woman you must be to be married 
to an artist who has a high standard, and tries to 



make his life square with it ! Then you are free 
to do as you please, to dress as you like, to wear 
out your clothes. I have often to dress six times 
a day. 5 ' 

Perhaps. But Princess Louisa had engaged the 
whole of the first floor of the Hotel d'Angleterre for 
herself and her suite ; and it was remarked that this 
proceeding seemed to reflect an Archduchess's rather 
than an ascetic's conception of simplicity. It was 
remarked, too, that her literary tastes, in so far as 
these could be inferred from the books which she 
borrowed from the Geneva libraries, appeared to be 
of a decadent modernity. Her favourite authors 
were discovered to be Gerard de Nerval and 
Baudelaire : excellent authors, indeed, but not 
authors whose message is for the simple and un- 

But let that pass : this work is not the life of 
Princess Louisa of Tuscany. Nor need we dwell 
upon the withdrawal of M. Gironfrom the Princess's 
entourage, or upon her own nervous breakdown and 
consequent retreat into a maison de sante. Very 
possibly the two events had some connection with 
each other; but it does not matter. Nor does the 
behaviour of M. Giron himself matter, though it is 
impossible not to commend him, before one dis- 
misses him, for the chivalry with which he has 
kept silence. At the height of the romantic battle, 
indeed, he was no more discreet than the rest, and 
could hardly be expected to be so. He was very 
young ; and he evidently believed that great things 



had happened, and that still greater things were 
about to happen. If he and Princess Louisa were 
going to defy the Habsburg system by living happily 
together ever afterwards, there was no reason why 
their gestures should not be as defiant as their 
actions; but that, as it turned out, was not to be. 

Once more there were wheels within wheels ; once 
more there was an interposition of some sort which 
threw the machinery out of gear. There is some 
reason to believe that the interposition was of a 
pecuniary character, though none for believing that 
M. Giron himself was "bought off." But the day 
nevertheless came when M. Giron discovered that 
his mission was terminated. As Princess Louisa 
puts it : — 

"M. Giron did not remain long in Switzerland. 
My reputation being thoroughly compromised by 
his presence, my object was achieved, and he there- 
fore returned to Brussels." 

It is rather a cold-blooded way of putting it. 
M. Giron may well have felt that Princess Louisa 
was resuming as a woman all the rights which she 
had forfeited as an Archduchess. But he raised no 
public protest at the time, and he has raised none 
since, though the wealthy proprietors of sensational 
newspapers have often tempted him to do so. One 
need seek no other explanation than the fact that he 
was a gentleman, too chivalrous to bear malice if 
there was any to be borne, conscious that his chivalry 
had led him into mistaken courses, and only 
anxious that the world should forget his error. 



After all, how many private tutors of his tender 
age, however respectably connected, can lay their 
hands upon their hearts and vow that they, in his 
place, would have been irresponsive to the appeal 
of a fascinating Crown Princess? 

But let that pass too; for our business is only 
with Princess Louisa, and with her only in so far 
as her case illustrates the failure of the Habsburg 
system, and the impulse of the family to revolt, as it 
were, against itself. No theory of her possessing 
a double dose of original sin can justly be invoked 
to account for her proceedings. The impulse to 
revolt was as physiologically sound in her case as 
in any of the others ; but it was stirred in her too 
late. She was too radically affected to be saved by 
it. There is something pathetic in the picture of 
her efforts to recover her balance — so desperate, yet 
so unavailing. 

In her restlessness, if in nothing else, she reminds 
one a little of the Empress Elizabeth. One sees 
her, as one sees the Empress, driven continually 
from place to place, seeking she knows not exactly 
what, but always failing to find it; but one does 
not see her, as one sees the Empress, guarding her 
secret like a delicate flame which must at all costs 
be sheltered from the wind. Her disposition is, 
rather, to expose the flame to all the winds which 
blow, in the hope that one or other of them may 
fan it to a blaze. For she is, after all, a Habsburg; 
and that is how the Habsburgs differ from the 
Wittelsbachs. The contrast has been pointed out 
already; but the point may be made again — in 



French, because there is no exact equivalent in 
English for the French phrases. The typical 
Wittelsbach, sane or insane, is tout en dedans ; the 
typical Habsburg, conventional or unconventional, 
is tout en dehors. 

Princess Louisa's career exemplified the distinc- 
tion when she bicycled in the Park with the dentist, 
and when she summoned M. Giron to Switzerland 
to compromise her. A further illustration of it was 
furnished when she affianced herself to that promis- 
ing young pianist, Signor Toselli. The contrast 
leaps to the eyes in Signor Toselli's report of the 
first compliments which she paid him : — 

" I love the society of artists. Their views are 
so noble and so generous. They are far above the 
petty prejudices of other men. Their conversation 
is stimulating and inspiring. You cannot imagine 
how badly they are treated at the Court of Dresden. 
They are simply paid their fee and dismissed." 

Even M. Paderewski, the Princess added, would 
have been simply paid his fee and dismissed, if she 
had not herself run forward, with tears in her eyes, 
and clasped him by the hand. 

The Wittelsbachs do not talk like that, but, enter- 
taining similar sentiments, act on them more quietly, 
and more as a matter of course. Nor does one hear 
of the Wittelsbachs making their declarations of 
love with that dramatic directness with which, if one 
may trust Signor Toselli, who has not M. Giron s 
instinct for reticence, Princess Louisa made hers. 
One does not picture a Wittelsbach putting to 



a comparative stranger the straight questions : 
"Have you ever loved? . . . Tell me, do you feel 
capable of love?" Nor could one readily credit a 
Wittelsbach with the naive vanity of the following 
announcement of artistic aims and gifts : — 

" I shall write the words to your music. I feel 
a hitherto unused talent stirring within me. I can 
also do sculpture." 

What wonder if Signor Toselli, being only twenty- 
four, was persuaded by such exclamations that all 
the fairy-tales were coming true ? And that though 
he was warned. 

" Do you really know the Crown Princess of 
Saxony, sir?" said Countess Fugger to him. "Do 
you realise her character and the life she has led? 
Rather than commit such folly I would advise you 
to go into the garden, this very instant, and put a 
bullet through your brain." 

But the warning fell upon deaf ears; and it is 
impossible to feel surprise at its having done so — 
not only because a child was about to be born, but 
also for a good many other reasons. Rank does 
not cease to dazzle because the high-born con- 
descend, but often dazzles all the more effectively, 
by causing the lowly-born to feel at ease in their 
preferment, as well as proud of it. The chances 
of really romantic adventure, too, are rare in modern 
life ; and a young musician is even less likely than 
most other young men to turn his back on them in 
a calculating spirit of sober self-restraint. The 

337 z 


blaze of publicity is not a thing from which the 
conditions of his calling have taught him to shrink. 

Signor Toselli did not shrink from it, and 
doubtless he enjoyed his hour of rapture. 
He and his bride changed their names with the 
rapidity of genius. At the office of the London 
Registrar, they were, of course, Signor Toselli and 
Princess Louisa of Tuscany ; but at the Hotel Cecil 
they were Signor and Signora San Marcellino, and 
at the Norfolk Hotel they were M. and Mme. 
Dubois. When they started for their honeymoon, 
their railway carriage was besieged by reporters; 
and they may well have believed that the acclama- 
tions of the world's Press saluted their definite 
entrance into the joys of an earthly Paradise. 

But, if that was their belief, then they were mis- 
taken in it. In Princess Louisa's case, as we have 
said, the hour of revolt had struck too late. Her 
spiritual revolution was, in some respects, rather like 
the great French Revolution, which continued to 
proceed from excess to excess, and from extrava- 
gance to extravagance, long after its ostensible 
purpose had been achieved. She might be able to 
" do sculpture "; but there were certain other things, 
more important than sculpture, which she found it 
impossible to do. Above all, she could not settle 
down and keep her allegiance fixed. She had no 
sooner settled down in one place than she wanted 
to move on and settle down somewhere else. Like 
Little Joe, she was "alius a-moving on"; and the 
meaningless migrations were a weariness of the flesh 
to her husband, and a hindrance to his professional 



Dover Street Studios 

Princess Louisa of Tuscany 
(Ex-Crown Princess of Saxony). 


prospects. " You are killing the artist in me," he 
said to the woman who had once assured him that 
artists were, of all men, the noblest and the worthiest 
to be loved. 

After that there was estrangement, culminating 
in separation, but mitigated by collaboration in a 
comic opera — the plot of it based upon Princess 
Louisa's recollection of certain incidents in her 
career as Crown Princess of Saxony. The proof is 
clear that, in her case — if not also in his — the passion 
for publicity has survived the passion for romance ; 
but the end is not yet, and is not likely to prove of 
a significance which would warrant the suspension 
of the publication of this work until it occurs. 
Princess Louisa's story has been an excursus, albeit 
a necessary one, seeing that it illustrates, even to 
the point of absurdity, the Habsburg habit of doing 
melodramatic things melodramatically, as if they 
felt conscious that, whether they sat on thrones or 
slid off them, they owed at once an entertainment 
and an object lesson to the admiring curiosity of 
the world. 

And that, of course, is the reason why the 
Habsburgs have been at once so interesting and so 
troublesome to the Head of their House. When 
they have sinned, as he would account it — offended, 
at all events, against the ancient traditions of the 
House — they have not been contented to go out 
and sin quietly. They have, on the contrary, 
sinned, if not strongly, at least demonstratively, as 
if their business was everybody's business, and it 
behoved both the Courts and the peoples to take 

339 z 2 


note. And Francis Joseph, on his part, has not 
failed to take note, protesting, as it were, against 
Habsburg side-shows, and re-asserting those Habs- 
burg principles which the rebels have rejected, with 
a vigour which sometimes reminds one of the last 
roar of a dying lion. 

We must return to him, though, in truth, there 
remains but little to be said. 



The summing up — The probable future of Austria — The prob- 
able future of the House of Habsburg — Questions both 
personal and political which will be raised when Francis 
Joseph dies — The extent to which he has been "in the 
movement " — The faithful companion of his old age. 

Francis Joseph, at the moment of writing, has 
passed not only his eighty-third birthday, but the 
sixty-fifth anniversary of his accession. Since the 
death of the late Regent of Bavaria, he has been 
the doyen of European rulers; and his reign has 
been longer than that of any modern monarch except 
Louis XIV., who came to the throne as a small 
child. His health is naturally the subject of con- 
stant preoccupation and infinite precaution on the 
part of his entourage', and last year he was kept 
indoors at Schonnbrunn from the middle of October 
until the middle of April. To what extent he is 
now able to govern, as well as to reign, only his 
Ministers know; but it is understood that, while 
they mobilise the army, he prays that there may be 
peace in his time. 

Most likely he will get his way. There prevails 



throughout Europe, as well as throughout Austria, 
a sentimental feeling that he has suffered enough, 
and that it would be cruel to disturb his last 
days with war or civil commotion. That senti- 
ment may be expected to count for more than 
the impatience of those Ruthenian deputies who 
have taken to silencing their German rivals in the 
Reichsrath by banging gongs and sounding motor- 
horns. It might not be so if the problems to the 
discussion of which the sounding of those motor- 
horns is an emotional contribution were quite ripe 
for settlement; but the day of reckoning must still 
be deferred a little. It is not before the blowing 
of motor-horns that the walls of Jericho will fall 
down flat; and it is improbable that Francis Joseph 
will live to see the solution of the problem which 
their tumult heralds. 

Still, there the problem is; and we must 
take a final glance at it before we quit the 
subject. It is an old problem in a new 
form : a fresh presentation of the problem pro- 
pounded by that Resettlement of Europe in 1815, 
which served as our historical starting-point — the 
problem arising out of the claims of ignored but 
v inextinguishable nationalities. The shifting of the 
orientation of the Austrian outlook from the Italian 
to the Balkan peninsula, so often acclaimed as an 
act of wise statesmanship, has only restated that 
problem in a fresh shape. For the Italia Irredenta 
which was a thorn in the side of Austria in the past, 
it has substituted a Servia Irredenta which will prove 
a thorn in the side of Austria in the future. 



In the days when the change was effected, the 
Servians were a despised people ; and the Austrians 
and Hungarians believed the Turks, who declared 
that, in their many battles with the Servians, they 
had only seen their backs. They took that view 
alike of the Servians within the Empire — the Ser- 
vians of Illyria, Dalmatia, Croatia, and other regions 
— and of the Servians of the independent kingdom 
of Servia. The former, it seemed to them, were 
naturally their slaves ; the latter were a feeble folk, 
incapable, and never likely to be capable, of deliver- 
ing those slaves from servitude. But now they are 
not so sure. Their Bosnian war established the 
unexpected truth that men of Servian race not only 
hated Austrian domination, but could make a good 
fight for their independence. The recent Balkan 
war has renewed the warning ; and it remains to be 
seen what will happen now that there is a strong 
Servia — at least as strong as the old kingdom of 
Sardinia — to which the unredeemed Servians can 
look for their redemption. The situation, in short, 
reproduces in almost every particular the conditions 
which led to the formation of the kingdom of United 

It is a situation in which there is one incalculable 
factor : the internal dissensions of the Balkan 
peoples. Those enmities are undeniably acute; 
and Austria is clearly determined to foment them, in 
order to postpone, if not to frustrate, the welding 
together of a formidable Balkan Confederation. 
That is the obvious inwardness of her recent support 
of Bulgaria and Albania. The plan may answer 



for the moment; but it can hardly avail in the long 
run, for two reasons. Albania is too disorganised 
to count; Bulgaria is too weak to have any future 
except as a member of a Balkan Confederation; 
and there is also Roumania to be reckoned with — 
Roumania, which may prove to be at once a con- 
solidating influence in the Balkans, and an influence 
hostile to Austria. 

The fact that there is a Roumania Irredenta as 
well as a Servia Irredenta may be expected to draw 
the Servians and the Roumanians together; and 
their ultimate purpose in drawing together would 
obviously be to raise the questions of the two un- 
redeemed territories simultaneously. If that should 
happen, the history of United Italy can hardly fail 
to repeat itself in the Danubian States. That it 
would so repeat itself there was one of Mazzini's 
political predictions; and he exhorted his country- 
men, when the day came, to go over to Macedonia 
and help the Slavs. If they should ever do so, 
they will certainly want to help themselves to the 
Trentino at the same time ; and they might alterna- 
tively — Triple Alliance or no Triple Alliance — 
demand the Trentino as the price of their 

The danger is perceived, of course, in Vienna; 
and there are those in Vienna who have their plan 
for meeting it. The Archduke Francis Ferdinand 
himself is generally understood to have a plan : the 
transformation of the Dual Monarchy into a Triple 
Monarchy — the third of his Trinity of Kingdoms to 
be a Kingdom of Slavs. To some the idea seems 



a brilliant inspiration ; to others a counsel of despair. 
It derives most of the value which it has from the 
fact that a majority of the Slavs within the Empire 
are Catholics, whereas a majority of the Slavs with- 
out the Empire belong to the Orthodox Church, and 
that the Catholics despise the Orthodox as their in- 
feriors in piety and civilisation. The Archduke, as 
a very religious man — the sort of man whom people 
speak of as being " in the hands of the Jesuits " — 
relies, apparently, upon differences of creed to keep 
the Slavs divided and weak, in spite of the brother- 
hood of race. 

He may be right ; but there are not wanting indica- 
tions that he is wrong. Even in the Balkans 
religious fanaticism is no longer the force that it 
used to be ; and the Austrian police has recently had 
all its work cut out to prevent inopportune explosions 
of sympathy with Servian successes, in Croatia. 
There, and in Bosnia, and in Dalmatia, just as of 
old in Lombardy and in Venetia, explosions have 
only been prevented — perhaps one should say have 
only been deferred — by the policy of sitting on the 
safety-valve ; and when that policy has to be adopted, 
things never fail to happen which make the op- 
pressed difficult to reconcile. Moreover, there 
is a further difficulty, already indicated on a 
previous page : the difficulty which has its double 
root in Slav numbers and Austro-Hungarian 

Of all the races which make up the composite 
Empire, the Slavs are the most numerous. Admitted 
to the Empire on equal terms, they will be in a 



position to control it — to control, that is to say, the 
Austrians and Hungarians who have hitherto con- 
trolled them. If that were allowed to happen, the 
condition of things created might be as intolerable 
to the Austrians and Hungarians as is the existing 
state of things to the Slavs. Foreseeing this, they 
will be reluctant to take the step which will compel 
them to bow their necks ; and, if they do take it, yet 
another " unredeemed " question will be raised : the 
question whether the Teutonic portion of the Habs- 
burg dominions should not be regarded as Ger- 
mania Irredenta. The Pangermanists of Prussia 
already, as we know, take that view of it; and 
Slav predominance might easily create a Pan- 
germanist party in Austria also. Indeed, the 
nucleus of a Pangermanist party already exists 

One doubts, therefore, whether the plan of the 
Archduke Francis Ferdinand — bold though the 
conception is — will prove to be a panacea. It strikes 
one as an artifice — a piece of diplomatic jugglery; 
and the forces which really determine the course of 
history are forces which mere juggling is powerless 
to control. The real rivalry of the Europe of to-day 
and to-morrow is the rivalry between Teuton and 
Slav; and that is a rivalry which has its origin, not 
merely in conflicting material interests, but in funda- 
mental antipathies of character. As long as Teutons 
are anywhere ruling over Slavs, no policy of " live 
and let live " is feasible ; and as the Slavs increase 
in numbers and in racial self-consciousness, the clash 
is bound to come. When it does come — when the 



unredeemed Slavs, assisted by the unredeemed 
Roumanians, insist upon their redemption — Aus- 
tria will have played her part on the stage of 
European history, and the curtain may be rung 

That is one of the predictions with which we may 
leave our subject; but there is also another specula- 
tion which it would be difficult to avoid. What of 
that House of Habsburg which has so long been 
the personal incarnation of the Austrian Empire? 
Whither is it tending? On what will its ultimate 
destiny depend? Will the family problems prove 
to be more easily soluble than those of the Empire 
itself ? Will it still be in the future, as it has been 
in the past, the unifying principle of a complex 
political system? One doubts it — one cannot help 
doubting it — for various reasons. 

The question before us — before Austria, rather — 
is the question of the importance which the world of 
the immediate future will attach to family pride 
and the exclusiveness of an imperial caste; and that 
is a question about which the world of to-day does 
not quite seem to have made up its mind. It has 
gained a Tittle knowledge without losing an equal 
proportion of prejudice, and has reached a point at 
which it finds it equally difficult to live either with 
its superstitions or without them. It is moved — it 
cannot help being moved — by the formidable array 
of facts by which the Eugenists demonstrate that the 
path to degeneracy is paved with consanguineous 
marriages; but, at the same time, it cannot easily 
shake off its instinctive reluctance to accord imperial 



dignity to the offspring of a healthy young woman of 
what it regards as the " lower orders." It is, the 
world feels, very embarrassing to have to choose 
between a degenerate and a person of inferior 
social status. 

That, nevertheless, is the choice which lies before 
Austria in the immediate future. Francis Ferdinand, 
as we have seen, has married beneath him ; his mar- 
riage is " morganatic. " That is to say that, when 
he comes to the throne, the heir to the throne will 
not be his son, but his nephew. That nephew is a 
young man about whom comparatively little is 
known; but when Francis Ferdinand goes into the 
matter, he will do so with the following facts before 
him : — 

i. The heir to the throne is the son of the family 
scapegrace, who used to dance in cafes in puris 

2. This heir is married to a lady who comes of 
the decadent Bourbon Parma stock. 

3. This young man, and his wife, and his family 
are taking precedence of his own wife, whom he 
loves, and the healthy l children whom she has borne 

The superstition of caste would, indeed, be strong 
in Francis Ferdinand if he regarded that as a right 
and proper state of things ; and the mere fact that 

1 Apparently healthy, though there is, unhappily, a strain 
of insanity in the Chotek family also. Nothing was known 
or suspected of it at the time of the marriage; but the 
Duchess of Hohenberg's father had to be placed under 
restraint before his death. One may hope that the weakness 
was developed too late in life to be transmitted. 



he married as he did, in the face of the opposition 
which he encountered, shows clearly that, whatever 
superstitions may still retain a hold on him, that 
particular superstition has relaxed its grip. Is he 
likely — human nature being what we know it to be — 
to accept an affront inflicted in the name of a super- 
stition which he has abandoned? Can we expect 
his wife and his children to press him to do 

Obviously we cannot. The thing might have 
happened in bygone ages — or even in comparatively 
recent ages — when universal opinion drew a religious 
as well as a social distinction between hereditary 
sovereigns and their subjects, and the personal 
dignity of the individual counted for nothing in 
comparison with that great impersonal principle. It 
cannot happen now that all impersonal principles 
are in the melting-pot and so many postulates which 
men used to grant as they now grant the law of 
gravitation are being brought to the bar of opinion 
to be cross-examined. The postulate which bids the 
progeny of an Emperor who married for love take 
a lower seat than the son and grandsons of the family 
scapegrace will assuredly be questioned by the next 
Emperor of Austria; and it will be found that it 
has nothing to say for itself. It may die fighting; 
but it will die ; and the whole of the Habsburg super- 
stition will die with it. What will happen then lies 
in the lap of the Gods. 

It is, however, precisely because of its gradual 
approach to such problems as these that one finds the 
reign of Francis Joseph such an intensely interesting 



period of history. It is interesting from the per- 
sonal point of view as the story of Nemesis over- 
taking the oppressor; the story which we have pre- 
sented symbolically as the story of the fulfilment of 
Countess Karolyi's curse. Philosophically it is in- 
teresting as the age of transition from mediaeval 
to modern ideas : the age in which both nationalities 
and individuals have stormily asserted their right to 
live their own lives in their own way. In both 
these matters we see, in Austria more clearly than 
anywhere else, the hungry generations treading down 
the past. 

It is seldom that so complete an evolution of 
outlook is co-extensive with the life of a single 
sovereign; perhaps, indeed, Francis Joseph's reign 
has been unique in that respect. In any case, he 
has witnessed all these changes, and lived through 
all these intellectual and emotional experiences. 
His role, while doing so, has been to keep up 
appearances; but, if we could penetrate to the 
realities behind the appearances, we should assur- 
edly find that he had not himself been unaffected 
by the transformations going on around him. That 
is the true moral of the story of his affection for 
Frau Schratt, and of the rumour of his desire to 
give that lady his left hand in marriage. He felt 
what the other Habsburgs felt, though he controlled 
his feelings better. Seeing what the other Habs- 
burgs were doing, he had the impulse to be "in 
the movement," though he resisted it. He, like the 
rest, has sometimes had the intuition that happiness 
lay in living one's own life rather than the corporate 



A dele 

Frau Schratt. 


life of one's country ; and there are moments when 
his biographer feels that, in spite of all the pomp 
and glory which have attended his public career, the 
day of days for him must have been the day on 
which he met Frau Schratt, who, after twenty-eight 
years of mutual devotion, now totters down the hill 
with him at the journey's end. 

Daily, for a little while, when health permits, he 
sits with her and wonders. . . . We will leave him 




laced, and that 




due partly 
one might t 
an article i 
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Franz Josel 
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evidently so 
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exercising b 
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who fear tt 
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an Austrian f 
fessional sol 
knows more 
campaign th; 
it is plain t 
Emperor sh 

Sympathy & 
Before th 
was looked 1 
as rather a 
suffered ber< 
the average 
to sympathy 
had caused 
Character w, 
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war with Pj 
card that Bi. 
he made his 
After that d ; 
peror and r 

was beloved by his people, and his 
private griefs later on tended to make 
him a figure upon which international 
sympathy might be properly bestow- 
d. The warlike tendencies of Aus- 
tria in the past decade were attribut- 
ed to the influence of Franz Ferdin- 
and, who was assassinated at Sara- 
jevo, the Emperor himself being ab- 
solved. But later events have indi- 
cated, that sympathy for the Emperor 


/ M*0 h 



^^dpcf-uX* /W^jy 

rnal affairs. He 
ild be followed by 
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Adamovics, Fraulein Wilhelmina, 
viii, 107, 322, 326, 327, 329 

Albert, Archduke, 134, 136, 138-140, 
149, 152-155, 162, 192, 234, 242 

Albert, Prince Consort, 135 

Alencon, Sophie, Duchesse d', 
under restraint at Graetz, 98, 
169; affianced to Ludwig II. of 
Bavaria, 161, 188; photographed 
with Count Holnstein, 188 ; the 
engagement broken off — married 
to Due d 'Alencon, 189 ; her 
death, 161, 191 

Alexander I., Czar of Russia, 2, 32, 

K7. 70 

Ambert, General, Cinq Epees, 37 

Amsterdam, 119 

Andrassy, Count Julius, 146, 156, 
210, 247 

Andrews, Mrs. Clarence, 224 

Anjou, Charles of, 20 

Aroyo, Don Agostino, 253 

Arragon, Ferdinand of, 23 

Assassins, Les, ballet by Archduke 
John Salvator, 233 

Augustenburg, Duchess of, 189 

Augustine, Princess, 286, 292 

Austria, a medley of races, not a 
nation, vi ; its history only to be 
understood in conjunction with 
the personality of its sovereign ; 
vi, vii ; its position in the Holy 
Roman Empire, 2 ; the forma- 
tion of the Empire its chief 
problem, 4 ; a Teuton Power 
when Francis Joseph commenced 
his reign — its Italian provinces, 
7 ; opposed to the liberal ideas 


of the period, 33 ; all its states- 
men policemen at heart, 34 ; the 
revolution in Lombardy, 36-38 ; 
the popular demand for a con- 
stitution, 40 ; risings in Vienna, 
41 ; wonderfully favoured by 
accidents, 54 ; bungling policy 
of, in connection with the 
Crimean War, 70 ; at war with 
France and Italy, 123-130 ; like 
all Germans, can only govern 
in a state of siege, 124, 125 ; 
tortured her Italian subjects in 
prison, 125, 126; an Italian's 
opinions of, 126, 127 ; at war 
with Prussia, 134-137 ; sur- 
renders Venetia to Italy, 134 ; 
her attitude in the Franco- 
Prussian War, 148-157 ; her 
future not in Italy or Ger- 
many, but in the Balkans — 
occupies Bosnia, 158 ; her 
coming troubles in the Balkan 
States, 342-346 

Austrian Alpine Club, 125 

Austrian Court of the Nineteenth 
Century, see Rumbold, Sir 

Bach, Alexander A., Baron von, 66 

Baden, 162 

Balfour, Jabez, 257 

Baltazzi, Alexander, 201, 211, 214, 

Baltazzi, Evelyn, 201 
Baltazzi, Hector, 201 
Ban of Croatia, the, see Jellacic, 

Baron Von 

A A 


Barclay's brewery, Marshal Hay- 
nau's reception by the draymen 
at, 61-64 

Barr, Robert, 219 

Barren, Maurice, 79 

Batthyany, Elemar, 57 

Batthyany, Louis, 57, 58 

Bavaria, 155 

Bazaine, Marshal, 173 

Beck, Baroness von, on the cynicism 
of the Court during the Hun- 
garian War, 59 

Beckford, William, 190 

Benedek, General, 135-142 

Berlin, 134, 155 

Berliner, Lokal Anzeiger, interviews 
Frau Schratt on the rumour of 
the morganatic marriage of 
Francis Joseph, 109 ; story of 
the death of Crown Prince 
Rudolf in, 219, 220 

Berry, Duchesse de, 238 

Bertha, Count Alexander von, 82 

Berzeviczy, General, 263 

Beust, F. F. von, 83, 155 

Biarritz, 133, 264, 266 

Bismarck, Prince, 68, 132, 133, 135, 
140, 162, 272 

Bohemia, 46, 51, 136, 155 

Boigne, Mme. de, 88 

Bomba, see Francis II., King of 

Bombelles, Count, 218 

Bosnia, Austrian occupation of, 158 

Brabant, Marie, Duchess of, 23 

Bratfisch, coachman to the Crown 
Prince Rudolf, 219 

Bruckenau, 266 

Brussels, 63, 108, 197, 198, 294, 322 

Buda-Pesth, 52, 53, 146, 161, 211, 
239, 287 

Buenos Ayres, 255 

Burg, Charles, 71, 291 ; see also 
Archduke Ferdinand Charles 

Byron, Lord, 6 ; Don Juan, 6 

Cairo, 203 

Calvi, Colonel, 126, 127 
Capet, Hugues, 20 
Cap Martin, 119, 264 
Capua, Prince of, 237 
Carlos, Don, 322 
Castiglioni, Countess, 123 
Castlereagh, Lord, 5 
Caux, 266 

Cavour, Count, 122, 123 

Chaco, 255 

Charles II. of Spain, 24 

Charles III. of Spain, 21 

Charles V., Emperor, 24 

Charles X. of France, 6 

Charles, Archduke, 24, 27 

Charles, Duke of Parma, 317 

Charles of Lichtenstein, 189 

Charles Albert, King of Sardinia, 
36, 51, 122, 123, 130 

Charles Ferdinand, Archduke, 241 

Charles Louis, Archduke, brother of 
the Emperor, 48, 274, 301 

Charles Salvator, Archduke, 278, 283 

Charles the Bold of Burgundy, 23 

Charlotte, Archduchess, wife of 
Archduke Maximilian : unpopu- 
larity in Venice, 127, 146, 165 ; 
her ambition causes her to 
persuade Maximilian to accept 
the crown of Mexico, 165-167, 
170; seeks Napoleon's influence 
over the pacte de famille, 169 ; 
keeps up Maximilian's spirits 
during the voyage, 17.2. 
returns to Europe to persuade 
Napoleon to leave the Army of 
Occupation in Mexico, 175-179; 
her mind was already unhinged 
before she left Mexico, 
heard of Sadowa on her arrival 
— was not met at the station — 
Empress Eugenie came to call 
on her, 178 ; her interview with 
Napoleon, 178, 179 ; goes to her 
old home at Miramar, 179 ; and 
thence to Rome, 179, 180; 
suffers from mental alienation, 
180-181 ; taken back to Mira- 
mar, 181 ; had occasional glim- 
merings of sanity, 185 

Chotek, Countess Sophie, 293, 300, 
303-300, 311, 313 

Christina, Archduchess. 27 

Cinq Epies, see Ambert, General 

Corona, 182 

Corriera della Sera, Count Nigra 's 
account of the Crown Prince 
Rudolf's death in, 221 

Cracow, 233 

Crenneville, Count, 137, 138 

Crimean War, 70 

Cristina, Queen of Spain, 238 

Cromer, 119 



Custozza, 37, 51, 134, 234 
Czanadez, Marshal, 248, 249 
Czuber, Fraulein, 288-291 

Daily Mail on Baron Ernest Wall- 
burg, 287 

Darwin, Chas., 11 

Deak, Ferencz, 83, 144 

Diaz, Porfirio, 174, 182 

Domenech, Emmanuel, History of 
Mexico, 173 

Eclair, L' , account of the Meyerling 
tragedy in, 223 

Eitel Fritz, Prince, 298, 301 

Eleanor, Archduchess, 288 

Eleanor of Austria, wife of Francis 
I. of France, 26 

Elisa, the circus-rider, 97 

Elizabeth, Archduchess, at the abdi- 
cation of the Emperor Fer- 
dinand, 48 ; sets her cap at 
Francis Joseph, 86 ; burned to 
death at Schonnbrunn, 192 

Elizabeth, Archduchess, daughter of 
Crown Prince Rudolf, 293, 294, 
297-299, 301 

Elizabeth, Empress, wife of Francis 
Joseph, making love to Elemar 
Batthyany, 58 ; the tragedy of 
her death at Geneva, 60 ; not 
trained for her position — stories 
of her early years, 73 ; her first 
meeting with Francis Joseph — 
his proposal, 74 ; her betrothal, 
75 ; the marriage a failure, 77 ; 
the impenetrability of her char- 
acter — her melancholy, 79 ; her 
beauty and popularity with all 
classes, 80, 82 ; factors in their 
estrangement, 81 ; a valuable 
asset in the government of the 
Empire, 81-83 ; did not get on 
with her mother-in-law, nor 
with the Archduchess Elizabeth, 
86 ; her free-and-easy manners, 
87 ; her instructions to Countess 
Marie Larisch, whom she chose 
to live with her as confidante, 
90 ; her name coupled with that 
of Count Hunyadi, 91 ; her 
adieux with Capt. Middleton, 
93 ; comes to Countess Marie's 
bedroom at night to dissuade 
her from marrying Count N. 


Esterhazy, 93 ; her own experi- 
ences allegorised in a fairy-tale, 
94, 95 ; her roving disposition, 
her melancholy and cynicism, 
96 ; her attention to the toilette, 
and daring horsemanship, 97 ; 
the insanity in her family, 97, 
98 ; The Martyrdom of an 
Empress, an untrustworthy life 
of her, 99-105 ; never used a 
gun — yachting in the Ionian 
Islands, 101 ; not at all musical 
— never rode alone, 102 ; intro- 
duces Frau Schratt to the 
Emperor, 104, 105, 109, no; 
supposed reasons for her trip 
to Madeira, 116, 117; her in- 
difference as to the training of 
the Crown Prince, 116; her 
constant wanderings and cere- 
monial appearances at Court, 
116-119 ; specimens of her poetic 
pessimism, 119, 120; her popu- 
larity in Hungary helped the 
settlement, 143, 144 ; her mur- 
der, 162 ; refuses to believe her 
brother Ludwig mad — suggests 
a plan for his escape, 190 ; did 
not believe him dead, 191 ; said 
to have written reminiscences, 
260 ; her outlook on life and her 
religious beliefs, 261, 262 ; M. 
Paoli's account of her when in 
France, 263-265 ; omens pre- 
ceding her assassination, 265- 
267 ; stabbed at Geneva, 268 

Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint, 83 

Elizabeth, Princess, granddaughter 
of the Emperor, 292-293 

Elizabeth, Princess, of Bavaria, see 
Elizabeth, Empress 

Ernest, Archduke, 239 

Escobedo, 182 

Essays and Reviews, 259 

Esterhazy, F61icie, 41 

Esterhazy, Count Nicholas, 93, 120, 


Esterhazy, Valentine, 70 
Eugene, Archduke, 278, 279, 283 
Eugenie, Empress, 118, 152, 178, 264 

Faucigny-Lucinge, Mme., 240, 241 
Faye, M. Jacques La, his life of 

the Empress, 99 
Federal Assembly, the, 3 

A A 2 


Ferdinand, Emperor, uncle of 
Francis Joseph, 22 ; his char- 
acter, 42, 46; his abdication, 


Ferdinand, King of Bulgaria, 318 

Ferdinand, Grand Duke of Tuscany, 
220, 221, 323 

Ferdinand VI. of Spain, 24 

Ferdinand Charles, Archduke, 288- 
291, 301 

Ferdinand of Este, Archduke, 47, 48 

Ferenzy, Mdlle., 103 

France, war with, 123-130 

Francis I. of France, 26 

Francis II., Emperor, grandfather of 
Francis Joseph, 21, 22 

Francis II., King of Naples, 6, 125 

Francis Charles, Archduke, father 
of Francis Joseph, 22, 29, 48, 
49, 69 

Francis Ferdinand, Archduke, 269, 
288, 293, 300 ; nephew to the 
Emperor — delicate boy and grew 
up delicate, 301 ; educated 
amongst Jesuits — medical treat- 
ment has its effect on him, 302 ; 
is expected to marry Arch- 
duchess Gabrielle, 303 ; but was 
courting a lady-in-waiting, 
Countess Sophie Chotek, 303- 
305 ; Archduchess Isabella's dis- 
covery of their affection, 305, 
306 ; the Emperor sanctions the 
marriage as a morganatic one, 
305 ; the Archduke's oath, 300 ; 
possible ways of evading it. 
311-313; his plan for settlement 
of Balkan troubles, 344-346 ; his 
morganatic marriage stands in 
the way of the natural succes- 
sion after him, 348, 349 

Francis Joseph I., Emperor of 
Austria, materials for a full bio- 
graphy not available, viii ; short- 
comings essential to previous 
biographies, viii-x ; the diffi- 
culties with which he was met 
on ascending the throne, 3 ; the 
formation of the Austrian 
Empire the central problem of his 
reign, 4 ; the risings in Italy and 
Hungary in the beginning of his 
reign, 7 ; his present popularity, 
7, 8 ; to be considered both as 
Emperor and Habsburg, 8, 9, 

18 ; the only sane member of the 
family, 15, 16; the tragedies of 
his position, 17, 18; his an- 
cestors, 20-22 ; and collateral 
branches of the family, 23-26; 
ascends the throne at eighteen, 
the rising hope of a decadent 
family, 22 ; his birth and parent- 
age, 29 ; his education and love 
for his people, 30 ; his first en- 
gagement with the army, 37, 38 ; 
his return to his studies, 38 ; at 
his uncle's abdication, 48; suc- 
ceeds to the throne, 49 ; the im- 
pression he had made in Hun- 
gary on an early visit did not 
insure popularity, 52 ; was bound 
to follow the advice of Windisch- 
graetz and Schwartzenberg, 52 ; 
Hungarians refuse to recognise 
his authority till he takes the 
constitutional oath, 53 ; cut in 
the hunting field by Elemar 
Batthyany — was h<- responsible 
for the atrocities of the Hun- 
garian War? 58; nicknamed at 
birth " the child of the gal- 
lows," 64; his affront to 
leon III., 65; and it- result, <>»», 
123; his travels through his 
dominions — releases political 
prisoners — an attempt on his 
life, (>7 ; Bismarck's opinion of 
him, 68; the King of Belgium's, 
68, 6q ; Lady Westmorland's 
description of him, 69 ; his 
romantic marri. ; first 

sees the Princess Elizabeth by 
accident, 73; his proposal, 74; 
their betrothal, 75 ; his marriage 
a failure, 77 ; the obviousness of 
his personality, 78, 70 ; the hap- 
piness of his early married days, 
80, 81 ; factors in their estrange- 
ment, Si ; he comes to visit the 
Empress whilst she is saying 
adieu to Capt. Middleton, 02 ; 
his room? far from those of the 
Empress, Q2 ; his flirtations 
make no startling tale, 104 ; his 
friendship with Frau Schratt. 
104-113 ; his love of field sports, 
113—115; story of his attentions 
to a peasant girl, 116; at war 
with France and Italy. 123-130; 



summons Sardinia to disarm, 
124; took part himself in the 
war, 128, 129 ; his sullenness 
over the terms of peace, 129, 
130; Italian hatred of him, 131 ; 
refuses Italy's offer to buy 
Venetia, 133 ; offers to cede 
Venetia if Italy will leave him 
free to deal with Prussia — has 
to surrender it as result of the 
defeat at Sadowa, 134 ; his 
treatment of General Benedek, 
135-141 ; sends for Deak, 144 ; 
and comes to terms with Hun- 
gary, 144, 145 ; his coronation 
at Buda-Pesth, 145, 146 ; he was 
stronger after Sadowa than 
before, 146 ; in negotiation with 
Napoleon on the Triple Alliance, 
149 ; and with Victor Emmanuel, 
150 ; in public affairs has the 
luck which saves him from his 
blunders, 160 ; in private is 
spared no sorrows, 161-163 ; his 
attitude as head of the family 
to Maximilian's acceptance of 
the throne of Mexico, 1 67-1 71 ; 
helpless to aid Maximilian, 180 ; 
he might excuse himself had he 
taken no steps to aid him, 183, 
184 ; but he did all he could 
without avail, 184-186; rumour 
that he was father of Mary 
Vetsera, 229 ; his reception of 
the news of the Meyerling 
tragedy, 230 ; his displeasure 
with Archduke John Salvator, 
236, 242, 243 ; his last com- 
munication with him, 248 ; sends 
a cruiser to search the coast of 
Chili for John Orth, 254 ; some- 
times visited the Empress at Cap 
Martin, 264 ; his reception of 
the news of the Empress's 
death, 269-271 ; his varying atti- 
tude to morganatic marriages, 
and marriages between the 
Habsburgs and commoners, 286- 
293 ; permits the marriage of 
Princess Stephanie to Count 
Lonyay, 294-296 ; and of her 
daughter Elizabeth to Otto von 
Windischgraetz, 297-299 ; his 
anxiety for his nephew, Francis 
Ferdinand to marry, 303 ; he 

sanctions the marriage with 
Countess Sophie Chotek as mor- 
ganatic — his speech to the Privy 
Council, 307, 308 ; he retains 
more mediaeval ideas than any 
ruler of to-day, 309, 310; his 
interview with Archduke Leo- 
pold Ferdinand, 328 ; his long 
reign and great age, 341 ; his 
unique reign, 350 
Francis Joseph /., His Life and 

Times, see Mahaffy, R. P. 
Francois Joseph Intime, see Weindel, 

H. de 
Franco-Prussian War, 148-157 
Frederick, Archduke, 303, 305 
Frederick IV., Emperor, 23 
Frederick August, King of Saxony, 

Frederick the Great, 21, 32, 57 
Frederick, Landgrave of Fursten- 

berg, 48 
" Fried Fish," see Bratfisch 
Frossard, General, 153, 169 
Fugger, Countess, 337 

Gabrielle, Archduchess, 303, 304 
Galippe, Dr., L'heridite des Stig- 

mates de De'ge'nerescence, 10, 

12, 13 
Geneva, 60, 267 
Georgei, 54 

German Federation, the, 3, 132, 134 
Giornale d' Italia, Victor Emmanuel's 

letter to Napoleon in, 150 
Giron, M., 322, 332-334, 336 
Gisela, Archduchess, daughter of 

Francis Joseph, 101, 102, 107, 

286, 292 
Gladstone, W. E., 126, 160 
Godollo, 90 
Graber, Captain, 56 
Graetz, 98, 138, 140 
Gramont, Due de, 154, 155 
Greece, Isles of, 119 
Grunne, Count, 48 
Guizot, F. P. G., 35, 36, 40 

Habsburg, House of, its character- 
istics essential to the under- 
standing of Austrian history, vi, 
vii ; the eccentricities of its 
members, viii ; marriage of a 
daughter of, to Napoleon, 2 ; 
eugenist's opinions of, 10-13 » 



revolt from family traditions, 14, 
15 ; the effect upon the head of 
the house, 16-19 ; their origin 
and pedigree, 20-23 ; inter- 
marriages with the Spanish and 
Portuguese branches, 23-25 ; 
physical characteristics, 26, 27 ; 
some members have justified 
their liaisons by the Emperor's 
friendship with Frau Schratt, 
107 ; recent tragedies in the 
family, 161, 162 ; the differ- 
ence between their madness and 
that of the Wittelsbachs, 188; 
some of the family who have 
tried to be ordinary men, 273 ; 
the only characteristic common 
to them all, 282 ; their centri- 
fugal marriages, 284-286 ; their 
superiority to the rest of man- 
kind, 309 ; what will be the 
future of the house? 347 

Habsburg Monarchy, The, see Steed, 
H. W. 

Halbthurn, 305 

Hal6vy, Leon, M. et Madame Car- 
dinal, 202, 211 

Haynau, Marshal, the cruelties of 
his campaign in Hungary, 55- 
60 ; his command withdrawn 
from him, 61 ; his adventure at 
Barclay's brewery, 61-63 

Heiligenkreuz, Abbey of, 215 

Heinrich, Herr, 249, 251 

Helen, Princess, of Bavaria, after- 
wards Princess of Thurn and 
Taxis, 72-75, 98, 100 

Henrietta, consort of Leopold II., 
King of the Belgians, 197, 286 

Henry, Archduke, 238, 276 

Hoffmann, Leopoldine, 238, 276 

Hohenlohe Schillingfiirst, Prince 
Gottfried zu, 288 

Holnstein, Count, 188, 189 

Holy Alliance, the, 3-5 

Holy Roman Empire, its collapse, 1 ; 
the impossibility of reviving it, 2 

Hoyos, Count, 218, 230 

Hiibner, Count, his amazement 
that anyone should value nation- 
ality, 34, 35 ; his account of 
Metternich's resignation, 43 ; his 
account of the proceedings at 
Ferdinand's abdication, 47-49 

Hungarian War (1849), 54-60 

Hungary, 40, 45> 46, 5*. 53-58, 82, 
^3. M3-I47, 156, 160, an, 225 
Hunyadi, Count, 91 

Iglau, 322 

In-breeding, results of, 13-15 

Inddpendance Beige on M. Leopold 

Wulfing (Archduke Leopold 

Ferdinand), 330, 331 
Ionian Islands, 101 
Isabella, Archduchess, 297, 303-306 


103, 108, 266 

Italy, War with, 123-130; offers to 
buy Venetia, 132 ; Venetia sur- 
rendered to, 134 

Jarras, 153 

Jecker, Baron, 165 

Jellacic, Baron von, Ban of Croatia, 

46, 48, 52, 54 
Joanna the Mad, 23, 24 
John, Archduke, 21, 238 
John, Field-Marshal Baron, 139 
John Salvator, Archduke of Tu- 

afterwards John Orth, viii, 15, 
71, 107, 162, 210; the first of 
the family rebels, a man of 
many accomplishments, 232 ; his 
musical compositions and mili- 
tary pamphlets, 233 ; his liberal- 
ism, 234 ; his close friendship 
with the Crown Prince, 234, 
235; Countess Marie Larisch's 
account of his parting with her, 
235 ; account by Princess 
Louisa of Tuscany, 235, 236, 
252 ; his love affairs with an 
Englishwoman, 236-239 ; and 
with Milly Stubel, 240-243 ; his 
interview with the Emperor, 
242, 243 ; had he been plotting 
with Rudolf? 244-247; the un- 
certainty of his marriage with 
Milly Stubel, 247, 248 ; the Em- 
peror's last communication with 
him, 248 ; his farewell to his 
friends, 248-251 ; his last 
voyage, 253 ; was he lost at sea? 
254 ; legends of his being seen 
since, 255-257 
Johnson, Andrew, President of the 

United States, 174 
Joseph II.. Emperor. 21, 31 
Joseph, Archduke, 48. 162, 27V 
Juarez, Benito, 174, 182, 183, 1S5. 



Karolyi, Countess, her curse on 
Francis Joseph, 60, 68, 71, 76, 
122, 143, 161, 186 

Keystone of Empire, The, v 

Kisch, Baron, 108 

Kissingen, 119, 266 

Kloss, Alfons von, 288 

Kolner Zeitung on Austrian cruelty 
in Hungary, 58 

Kossuth, L., 40, 50 

Ladislas, Archduke, 162, 192 

Laeken, 197 

Lainz, 266 

Larisch, Countess Marie, more in 
the Empress's confidence than 
anyone else, 79 ; a story of the 
Empress before she was her 
companion, 84 ; says that the 
Emperor was the first to be dis- 
satisfied with the marriage, 89 ; 
the Empress's instructions to her 
when she sent for her to be her 
companion, 90 ; she prevents the 
Emperor from entering the 
Empress's room whilst she is 
saying adieu to Capt. Middleton, 
92 ; she is asked in marriage by 
Count Nicholas Esterhazy, and 
the Empress dissuades her from 
accepting him, 93 ; she repeats 
a fairy-tale told her by the 
Empress, 94, 95 ; her corrections 
of The Martyrdom of an Em- 
press, 100-103 ; she tells of the 
Empress's introduction of Frau 
Schratt to the Emperor, 104, 105, 
109 ; on the Empress's indiffer- 
ence as to the training of the 
Crown Prince, 116; her descrip- 
tion of the difference between 
the madness of tb" Habsburgs 
and the Wittelsbachs, 188; her 
account of the Meyerling 
tragedy, 194, 197, 204-207, 210, 
214, 216, 217; her refutation of 
an account of the tragedy in the 
Berliner Lokal Anzeiger, 219, 
220 ; her own account, 223, 224 ; 
her account of the Archduke John 
Sebastian's farewell, 235, 253 

Larisch, Countess Marie, My Past, v, 
57, 84, 85, 90, 91, 97, 104, 105, 
194, 197, 204-207, 210, 214, 216, 
217. 235, 253 

Latour, Austrian War Minister, 55 

Laxenburg, 101, 298 

Leboeuf, Marshal, 153 

Lebrun, 153 

Leipzig, Battle of the Nations at, 1 

Leopold I., King of the Belgians, 68 

Leopold II., Emperor, 21 

Leopold II., King of the Belgians, 

196, 197, 286, 294-296 
Leopold, Archduke, 280 

Leopold Ferdinand, Archduke, viii, 

15, 71, 107, 129, 232, 252, 299, 

315, 322, 327-332 
L'herfditi des Stigmates de Degene'r- 

escence, see Galippe, Dr. 
Libenyi, attempts to assassinate the 

Emperor, 67, 80 
Linz, 234 

Lobkowitz, Prince, 48 
Lombardy, 34, 38, 46, 125, 165 
London, 119, 243, 247 
L'Origine du Type familial de la 

Maison de Habsburg, see 

Rubbrecht, Dr. O. 
Lorraine, Francis, Duke of, 20, 21 
Loschek, valet to the Crown Prince 

Rudolf, 219, 221 
Louis IX. of France (St. Louis), 20 
Louis XIV., 341 
Louis XVL, 278 
Louis, Archduke, 43 
Louis Philippe, 36 
Louis Salvator, Archduke, 277, 283 
Louis Victor, Archduke, brother of 

the Emperor, 180, 274 
Louisa, Princess of Tuscany, viii, 15, 

27, 129, 220, 222, 232, 235, 236, 

239, 241, 242, 244, 251-255, 277, 

299> 3i5-3 2 7» 332-340 
Louisa, Princess of Tuscany, My 

Own Story, v, 318, 319 
Louise, Princess, of Saxe-Coburg, 

197, 256, 294, 321, 339 
Luccheni assassinates the Empress 

Elizabeth, 268 
Lucchesi-Palli, 238 
Ludwig I. of Bavaria, 25, 72 
Ludwig II., King of Bavaria, his 
madness, 72 ; affianced to 
Sophie, afterwards Duchess 
d'Alencon, 161 ; breaks off his 
engagement, 187-189 ; smashes 
her bust, 189 ; his solitary life 
in fantastic splendour — the 
Empress refused to believe in his 



madness, and was ready to assist 
his escape, 190 ; his suicide, 162. 
Luxemburg, 149 

Madersbach, Mme. de, 56 

Madiera, 91, 116, 117 

Magenta, Battle of, 66, 124 

Mahaffy, R. P., Francis Joseph I., 
His Life and Times, v 

Majorca, 277 

Maria Dorothea, Archduchess, 48, 

Maria Henrietta, Archduchess, 288 

Maria Theresa, Empress, 20, 31, 57 

Marianna, Empress, 47, 49 

Marie of Burgundy, 26 

Marie-Amelie, Queen, consort of 
Louis-Philippe, 177 

Marie-Antoinette, 21 

Marie Louise, Archduchess, wife of 
Napoleon L, 26 

Martyrdom of an Empress, The, vi, 

Mary I. of England, 24 

Mathilde, Princess of Saxony, 196 

Matilda, Archduchess, 162 

Matilda, Duchess, in Bavaria, see 
Trani, Countess de 

Mattatich, Count, 321 

Maximilian, Archduke, brother of 
Francis Joseph, afterwards Kni- 
peror of Mexico, at the abdica- 
tion of the Emperor Ferdinand, 
47, 48; the tragedy of his death, 
60, 161, 163, 164, 185; his un- 
popularity in Venice, 127, 146, 
165 ; invited to be Emperor of 
Mexico, 164 ; unfitted for post — 
the tool of Napoleon and the 
Mexican exiles— dismissed from 
his government of Venetia, 165 ; 
retires to Miramar and writes 
poetry — egged on by his wife to 
accept the Mexican throne, 166; 
stipulates for French military 
support, 167 ; the pacte de 
famille, 167, 168; he objects to 
renouncing his Austrian rights, 
168 ; the pacte signed at Mira- 
mar, 169, 170 ; his gloomy fore- 
bodings, 170, 171 ; Pius IX. 
blesses the enterprise, 171, 172 ; 
his wife keeps up his spirits on 
the voyage, 172 ; looking to the 

ceremonial aspect of the enter- 
prise, and the disillusionment, 
173 ; French Army of Occupa- 
tion withdrawn, 173, 175, 1S2 ; 
nothing but pride prevented his 
abdication, 181 ; exclaims that 
he is free when the French Army 
had gone — he goes to Queretaro 
and is captured, 182 ; he had in- 
structed Miramon to condemn 
Juarez to death, 183 ; is shot in 
the public square at Queretaro, 
185 ; his body brought to Europe 
and buried in the tombs of the 
Habsburgs, 187 
Maximilian I. of Bavaria, grand- 
father of Francis Joseph, 22, 29 
Maximilian, Duke, in Bavaria, 72, 

75. 100, 189 
Mazzini, G., 344 
MeManie, Princess, see Metternich. 

Mendel, Henrietta, 188, 276 
Merode, CI60 de, 196, 286 
Metternich, Clemens, Prince von, the 
author of the Holy Alliance, 4 ; 
instructs Francis Joseph in 
statecraft, 30 ; a greater man 
than any whom h< 
a policeman at heart. 34 ; th^ 
object of popular hostility, 41 ; 
his resignation, 42 ; Archduchess 
Sophie's letter to him, 44 ; his 
reply — his flight to England, 45; 
had been concerned in advising 
Ferdinand's abdication, 47 
M< tternich, Princess MeManie, ■ 

39-44, 50 
Metternich, Count Richard, a 5] 

constable in London, 43. 155; 
Austrian Ambassador ir 

Mexico, 60. 161, 163-186 
Meyerling, 60, 03, 118. 

104. 207, 20S. 211-316, ji v -:;i. 

242, 245. 24<\ 2h(->. . 
Middleton, Capt. " Bay," qi 
Miguel of Braganza, 203 
Milan. 36, 128, 146 
Minghetti, Marco, 152 
Miramar, 165, 166. 160-171, i" 
Miramon, General, 
Moltke, Baron von, 136, 140 
Montez, Lola, sj 
Morny. Comte de, 165 



My Oxvn Story, see Louisa, Princess 

of Tuscany 
My Past, see Larisch, Countess 


Napoleon I., 2, 22, 24, 26, 27, 

Napoleon III., 43, 65, 66, 123-125, 
128-130, 149-151, 154, 165, 167, 
169, 171, 175, 177-W 

Nash, Eveleigh, 247, 256, 257 

Nauheim, 266 

Neue Freie Presse, a bogus advertise- 
ment in its agony column, 108 ; 
on the character of the Archduke 
Leopold Ferdinand, 327, 328 

Nigra, Count, 156 ; his account of 
the death of the Crown Prince 
Rudolf, 220—222, 224, 227 

Norwegian Fiords, 119 

Novara, 51 

O'Donnell, 80 

Olmiitz, 44, 47, 153 

Orleans, Due d', 286 

Orleans, Duchess d\ see Maria 
Dorothea, Archduchess 

Orth, John, see John Salvator, Arch- 

Ott, Baron, 256 

Otten, Frederick, 256 

Otto, Archduke, 27, 280-282, 285, 
288, 301 

Otto, King of Bavaria, 25, 72 

Paar, Count, 269 

Palacio, Riva, 182 

Palacky, F., his protest for the Slavs 

against their position as inferior 

to the Hungarians, 145 
Palmerston, Lord, 54 
Paoli, Xavier, 263-265, 267 
Paris, 119, 153, 161, 191, 264 
Parma, 327 
Pedro, Dom, 319 
Pedro of Saxe-Coburg, 189 
'Philip II. of Spain, 24 
Philip III. of Spain, 24 
Philip V. of Spain, 24 
Philip of Saxe-Coburg, 197, 218 
Philippe le Beau, 23 
'Pilsen, 153 
Pius IX., 108, in, 151, 169, 171, 

172, 180 
Pius X., 260 
Plombieres, 123 

Podanitzky, Baron, 55 

Port Said, 236 

Possenhofen, 103 

Pr^gny, 267 

Prcsburg, 303 

Private Life of Two Emperors, The, 
William II. of Germany and 
Francis Joseph of Austria, vi, 

Prussia, 4, 130-137, 148-157 
Puebla, 177, 179 

Queretaro, 60, 161, 163, 182, 183, 

Radetzky, Marshal, 36-38, 45, 46, 
80, 122, 136 

Rainer, Archduke, 275, 276, 283 

Regules, 182 

Reichstadt, Due de, 22 

Revolution of 1848, the : 

In Italy, 36-38, 45, 46, 51 
In Austria, 39-42, 45, 46, 50-53 
In Hungary, 40, 45, 46, 51, 54 
In Germany, 40, 41 
In Bohemia, 46, 51 

Rio Quarto, 255 

Ritter, Fraulein, 330 

Robert, Duke of Parma, 317 

Roll, Fraulein, 116 

Rome, 60, 108, 151, 171, 180, 181, 

Rothschild, Baroness Adolphe, 267 

Rothschild, Nathan Meyer, 61 

Rubbrecht, Dr. Oswald, L'Origine 
du Type familial de la Maison 
de Habsburg, 10-12 

Rudolf, Archduke, 279 

Rudolf, Crown Prince, reproaches 
Countess Marie Larisch for act- 
ing as go-between for the 
Empress, 90 ; errors about, in 
The Martyrdom of an Empress, 
101-103 ; directed to write to 
General Benedek, 140 ; his the 
only life between Maximilian 
and the throne of Austria, 168 ; 
the fatality of the name Rudolf 
— his literary and artistic tastes, 
iqi ; his quarrel with the Ger- 
man Emperor — conspiring for 
the throne of Hungary, 194, 206, 
210; capable of both affability 
and hauteur, 1Q4, 195 ; popular 
with the people, a spoiled child 



and precociously cynical, 195 ; 
whilst seeking a wife had 
a lady as provisional com- 
panion travelling with him — 
rejects the suit of Princess 
Mathilde of Saxony and asks the 
hand of Princess Stephanie of 
Belgium, 196 ; neglects her for 
Mary Vetsera, 200, 201 ; whom 
he says he could not shake off, 
203 ; asks Countess Marie 
Larisch to bring Mary to him at 
the Hofburg, says he is in 
political danger, hands the 
Countess a steel casket, 204 ; 
the person to whom it is to be 
delivered, 205 ; his hunting box 
at Meyerling, 208 ; the Princess 
taken there, 208, 209 ; the Prin- 
cess follows him when he goes 
to visit Mary Vetsera and 
changes his carriage for hers, 
209; his death, 60, 161, 212 — 
and the various official accounts, 
212-214; hi s l ast letter, 216; 
various accounts of the tragedy, 
218-231 ; his association with 
Archduke John Salvator, 234, 
235 ; was the latter concerned in 
his death? 246 

Rumbold, Sir Horace, The Austrian 
Court of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury, v, 299 

Ruskberg, 56 

Russia, 156 

Russo-Turkish War, 158 

Saarbriicken, 154 

Sadowa, Battle of, 134, 137, 144, 

146, 151, 160, 174, 176, 179 
Saint-Nazaire, 178 
Salzburg, 254, 274, 321 
San Remo, 266 
Santa Lucia, Battle of, 37 
Sardinia, 124, 129 
Schleswig-Holstein, 125, 133 
Schlictling, General, von, 136 
Schonnbrunn, 29, 109, 192, 266, 341 
Schratt, Frau Katti, 104-113, 162, 

271, 289, 350 
Schwartzenberg, Felix, 45, 47, 48, 

52, 58 
Seefried zu Buttenheim, Baron Otto 
von, 292, 293 

Servia, and Austria's Servian sub- 
jects, 159, 34 2 -345 

Siecle, Le, on Frau Schratt 's mission 
to Rome, 108 

Slav problem not solved by the 
granting of the Hungarian 
Constitution, 145, 158 

Smith, Penny, 237 

Sobieski, John, King of Poland, 70 

Sodich, Captain, 253 

Solferino, Battle of, 66, 124 

Sophia, Archduchess, mother of 
Francis Joseph, 22, 29 ; her 
letter to Metternich on his resig- 
nation, 44 ; her concern in secur- 
ing the throne for her son on his 
uncle's abdication, 22, 47, 48; 
the names of murdered Hun- 
garians shouted at her in the 
streets, 59 ; her strange declara- 
tion during her confinement with 
Francis Joseph, 64 ; arranges for 
her son's marriage, 71-73 ; her 
disappointment, 76 ; her jealousy 
of the Empress, 86; 
charged with throwing a mis- 
tress at the head of her son, and 
a lover to the Empress, 89 ; had 
the care of Archduchess Gisela 
when a child, 101 ; objects to the 
Empress's training of the Crown 
Prince, 116; sides with 
milian over the pactc de famile, 
168, [69 ; her warning to Maxi- 
milian, 177 

Starnberg, Lake of, 162, 190 

Starztav, Countess l6l, 269 

Steed, H. W., The Habsburg Mon- 
archy, v. 

Stephanie, Princess of Belgium, wife 
of the Crown Prince Rudolf, 
196-200, 203, 208-210; her mar- 
riage to Count Lonyay, 293-297 

Stockau, Count George, 201, 214. 

Stubel, Fraulein Milly, 107, 240-243, 

247. 253 

Taaffe, Count von, 43 

Tennvson, Alfred, Lord, The Lord 

of Burleigh, 88 
Thurn and Taxis, Prince of. 75 

Princess of, *•« Helen, Princess 
of Bavaria 
Tichborne, Sir Roger, 257 



Times, The, confirms the reports 
of Austrian cruelty in Hungary, 
55; prints Rothschild's letter 
on the Haynau affair at Bar- 
clay's, 61, and rebukes the 
draymen, 62 

Tisza, M., 230 

Toselli, Signor, 27, 232, 239, 241, 

315. 33L 336-340 
Trani, Ludvvig Count de, 162, 192 
Trani, Matilda, Countess de, 108, 

Trentino, The, 150, 151, 344 
Trieste, 101, 116, 180, 236, 255 
Triple Alliance, The, 149-151, 155, 

Turkey, Sultan of, 57 
Turr, General, 150 
Tyrol, 51 

United States, President of, see 
Johnson, Andrew 

Valerie, Archduchess, daughter of 
Francis Joseph, 101, 102, 107 

Valois, Charles de, 20 

Valparaiso, 253, 255 

Vaughan, Baroness, 196 

Venetia, 125, 130, 133, 134, 151, 165 

Venice, 127, 146, 165 

Ventnor, 119 

Vetsera, Baroness, 201-203, 2II » 22 9 

Vetsera, Ferenz, 220 

Vetsera, Laszlo, 220 

Vetsera, Louis, 220 

Vetsera, Mary, did not meet the 
Crown Prince in London as the 
author of The Martyrdom of an 
Empress, says, 102, 103 ; died 
with him at Meyerling, 200 ; be- 
longed to a family well known in 
Vienna, 201 ; her character, had 
started her acquaintance with 
Rudolf by writing asking him to 
see her, insulted the Crown 
Princess, 203 ; Rudolf asked the 
Countess Marie Larisch to bring 
her to him at the Hofburg, 205 ; 
which she did, 206 ; she was 
taken by Rudolf to Meyerling, 
207 ; a former occasion on which 
the Prince had visited her, 209 ; 
her belief that Rudolf would be- 
come King of Hungary and 

marry her, her parents seeking 
for her, 211 ; her death with 
Rudolf, 213 ; theories about the 
tragedy, 213-215; her last 
letters, 216; her reputed part in 
the tragedy, 222-227 

Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy, 51, 
122, 123, 128, 131, 149-152 

Vienna, 41, 43, 45, 46, 51, 52, 108, 
136, 169, 183, 184, 192, 198, 208, 
212, 219, 229, 234, 251, 253, 254, 
266, 274, 276, 288 

Vienna, Congress of (1814-15), 1, 4 

Visconti-Venosta, Marquis, 152 

Waldeck, Countess of, 238 
Walburg, Baron Ernest, 287 
Waterloo, Battle of, 1 
Weindel, H. de, Francois Joseph 

Intime, v, 117 
Wellington, Duke of, 63 
Wiederhofer, Dr., 214, 223 
Wiener Zeitung on General Benedek, 

138 ; on the degradation of 

Princess Louisa of Tuscany, 

323, 324 
William L, King of Prussia, 133, 

i5 2 . : 94 

William, Archduke, 279 

William Francis Charles, Archduke, 

Windischgraetz, Alfred von, 46-48, 
52, 53, 88, 298 

Windischgraetz, Prince Ernest von, 

Windischgraetz, Prince Otto von, 
293, 297-299 

Wittelsbach, House of, family to 
which the Archduchess Sophia 
and the Empress Elizabeth be- 
longed, insanity in both branches 
of it, 72 ; which are madder, 
they or the Habsburgs? 187; 
the difference in description, 
188; Ludwig II., 188-191; 
Duchesse d'Alencon, 191 ; Comte 
de Trani, Archduke Ladislas, 
Archduchess Elizabeth, 192 

Worth, 152 

Wulfling, Herr, see Leopold Fer- 
dinand Archduke 

Zurich, 162 

ana gam »«i 
;he soil. It 
mity which e 
ard the pert 

unity of cor 
ue to pure go 

pressure froi 
mitted that ou 
siderable mea? 
sor Paladini 
is always nece: 

we have bee 

failed us, b\ 
:he difficulties 
ry not merely 
and a system 

> disadvantage 

> rapidly-char 
of a system V 

We must no-i 
vth. We mu? 
f nature are of 

art, and ths 
1 whole foresi 
^e is patiently 

detached syi 

results, but 
ble as to gen- 
xid in view. { 
•arly writings, 

several histv 
fore there vj. 
write about, 
sen, and may 

should be wi 
^Ionization is m 
rest. Italy, w 
ion emigrating 
er of losing its i 
legitimate grj 

One should I 
mporary emiffl 
talian workmei 
great construct 
,re due. It is i! 
the most valujj 
lie muscles am} 
ize this enornvj 
tient good of \ 
)blems of Italn.i 
3 k contains sd 
>nd is written i 
a pity that th; 
fs— most of the: 
? page 498— du 
mpositor's unfa 
raphy, and occ 

> explain, such a 
iage 272 of Pre 
id Zurich as 
origin and nam 
n the title is all 
thor includes in 
.~;^o or>rl Tvrotec 







Secret of an Empress. By Countess 
Zanahdl Landi. (Cassell. lGs. net.) 

How many tourists and travellers realize on 
crossing the frontiers of Austria that they have 
(1 a realm entirely distinct from any other 
European country in atmosphere, traditions, 
and methods of government ? Appearances 
The scenery, often beautiful, 
idiose, appeals to their eyes ; the 
v , light-living and lusty, are attractive in 
u with the heavier Swiss or uncouth 
; ian ; the very railway officials, hotel - 
s, and police arc less obtrusive and easier 
of manner than those of Germany or Russia. 
In so pleasant a country, amid so pleasing a folk, 
it is hard to understand the truth th at on ent er- 
i ng Austria one enters a moral vacuum. 

This is the secret of Austria. We could have 
d that the author of tins remarkable book 
had chosen some title less melodramatic than 
l< The Secret of an Empress/'' Her book is full 
of drama, and sheds vivid light on many a 
■ dark spot in modern Austrian history. But, 
. unlike many a volume with which it may on first 
[ sight be classed, it is neither a repository of 
Court scandal nor a collection of " Society " 
gossip. It tells a plain, though not a simple, 
tale with a quiet reserve that enhances the effect 
of the story told. In its essence it is an indict- 
ment of Austria, or rather of " Vienna," the real 
Vienna — the Vienna of the Camarilla that sur- 
rounds the head of the State, of the secret 
police, of ecclesiastical influences, and of cease- 
less political intrigue. It is an indictment of 
Austria that claims, with much appearance of 
truth, to be based on the utterances of the late 

F.n-mrftss Elizabeth of Austria herself. 

'It is dime ult to 

The B 


muKe nimseii wie actual ruier-j 

German Empire. Ho knew t THE 

opposition to his and Prussit 

could only come from Ludwi 

Hence the intrigue, woven wit 

Bavarian Court officials in his se 

a declaration that Ludwig, wh 

habits made him an easy victim, 

mind and must be interned as a li j n j 

warned of his danger, sought " the 

the Empress Elizabeth, who ob the Chi 

Emperor Francis Joseph a pronj avows 

it be necessary for the King U either i 

Austria, he should be granted i s to n 

after the success of the Bi primari 

by which the King was arrest 

in the castle at Berg the En 

sought to arrange for his flig 

story of the attempted flight 

leap into the boat waiting on 

Starnberg lake, of his struggle 

who pursued him, of the drov 

them in the lake, and of the 

Empress on learning of the tr 

these pages with convincing s 

chapter alone lends rare interes 

Equally striking in its mi 

is the version of the death o 

Rudolf, the Empress's only 

this trad * p -*-—=« n-n*! _Iia±ei__s» 
una trag . QJn oyiqnd u ^ o ^ 

of the ( 
much i 
and to 
At t 
when i 
and wit L 


tion hav 

of legend poouiAuooun %toi<p«j.cI suibuioi 

fromthr^* PT ™ " <aSj ^I *1 JAV JoiwpisxK 

more a< 


to sep 


He wae 

Marie 1 


^qtrsuadsipui 0113 ^m^ eo8um[o 

P3I0UJO AV9U„ 'P3JQU98 UI *%<&&. 
^9 A „ SJ0pt39| JO p99U ^U9§JU UI 

'uoi^u 9ip ^ibaab ^snui jg^s'esip 
-uoo qoiqA\ A^qiqisuods9i 9q^ joj q 

J9q^I9U 9pt?UI 9JT? SS-Bp T3 SB U 

3unoA* eq^ ji > t ^xtf, S99S9JOi eg 

<TO!I OH PWS 9§p9tMOU5f 9C}mU^UI 

Marschj UCmia IH Wlfq0 8un ° A J ° ***! 

'er versed in the secret political history of I 
modern Europe, could have known and related j 
with so sincere accent the tale here told. Here 1 ! 
we have for the first time an adequate explana- j 
tion of the imprisonment and death — by ' 
uing in the Starnberg lake — of the un- 
fortunate Ludwig II. of Bavaria. Briefly, it is 

vhen the King of Prussia was to be pro- 

•d German Emperor at Versailles on 
January 18, 1871, King Ludwig opposed the 

strenuously. There was for a moment 

rj V nre^dB,') .Cq 4 /sjO'ra9iAi3^j; joiunf joj Sunsi 
-ojo^ .i9qmo \y put? .-CSo|ojo9^oj\[ uo so;ojsj 

UOTUp9 pUO09S B pUB 'UOSUTBiqiAY 'd 'V u ! y ^ 1 -|/ > 

^q 'Xuiouoajsy reoimtt^ pug uoimSEABSj f.i 

5[OOq^X9X ©q^ JO UOI^ip9 p9SlA9J pUB M9U B SS9JV, 

oqi in 09\v s-pq .SSopr uqof -jj^ (t *j9d995[qo^Ai| 

PU13 S91I-8U0TSSIUI ^UB;S9flOJj; Ul 
^illd 9^'BJ'8d9S Oq. OUUI^UOO qOiqAV S90U€ 

fe. W-U009JJT Ai%uQi<Bdd%i pu-8 [uuao^ui i 
x #ef a^? ^ 9q, 'A^iun oq ivoddv puB que 

hV^\ a l\ aSOdjnd ^ J °* '* WI * <pui3 <TXO I^^ z Tl 

^^lOi^-Bjidsui oqq A"ii'}u9pi 0% p9sodsip 

wV U(mia ' JH ^w I™} Q W ^q P^ 

hop\T° U8U ^ ,I9d Jmj * ** s ^a J13 ^ GU * v 

XI* ^ J °^ 9 ^ J,BU[0 ISSIUI JO M9IA9J 8UT^S9, 

f J ^P'eaJ eqf* oSugq-sqa Buoi^sonb ji 

■j l A>tU13I^SI.rq;3 0% p9^J9AUO0 9UIB09^f 

/ ^luipe 0% p9j<8d9jd 9 q s^ucaSiut i 

1 -uou opnpx9 avou qoiqAi B9i| e 

osoq^ pmoAv ^ou^sui joj -uoh, 

S9I^n-Bn^0B 9q^ JO AU13UI q^IAi ;| 
*l n °njip ^T pUIJ !^SnUI 'JUOAB9PU9 

spjBA\o^ p9sodsip Xn-Boi^gq^^dui^s 
'Uwi&Vi w&^Ktiiir'xo tne last 

May 7 in History. 


m\ is«. i 

» Vs 


m which 


has b< 

national i 

stock as 1 and personal pro^^H 

1777. — On this date the province of Buko- 
wina, taken from Turkey by treaty, was" 
added to Austria, not Hungary, as current ne beginning 

d " . 

part of the ancient Roman province of ding armies nave 
Dacia, its modern name signifying "the? back and forth' 
country of the beech trees." In the middle tne Russians ad- /ilh lh ^ iv ue red( 

he sym 

A bond will b» 

has been onlyjdenc 

nake the qu* 
»ar the ex 

ages it became the home of a mixed popu- AusLrians re- han ^ vilh irrant. Th: 

lation, and passed under the control of ' n _A Tll£1 i ..««,«« 

Moldavia, which is now part of Roumania. The effect up- <>**■ '^ronger pacifist inflU- 

Both Moldavia and Wallachia, the other, upon a gigantic rrom 1 ne anette, who would ll 

part of Roumania, were absorbed into the the effect upo nBror T ra - (pe j be tne only on . 

Turkish Empire, and the annexation of . fr.rm- 

Bukowina to Austria was the result of the'<-' h two men reel'* > ^loiin fightirj ^ 

triangular conflicts of Austria, Russia, and Not even Bel- " .ugnaciou 

Turkey between 1771 and 1777. At that, fta* Bukowina. I-»i er on 

time Maria Theresa was Queen of Austria 

and Hungary, Frederick the Great was King 

of Prussia, and Catherine II. was Empress [advance, which, 

of Austria. These three great Monarchy checked, hasBukowina &- 

were enlarging their territories at the ex- nto a retreat . In . (1 to the iet from da ^ to 

pense of Poland and Turkey and Bukowina^ & ^^ ad _- aIV thui 1 it will fall . 

was only a small ^TncSs and retreats, but at no time at. >os. Thii 

December 8 in History. hc duchy in com - <ow:na '" coming almost ent 

(ne belligerent or-t. their sympatl. 

1848.— The essential and incurable wm.1i- t the present tin e creation of 
tiess of Austria-Hungary as a "dual men- nnmmon j ~f *v,, 

Z ,, . _. ^ .^ command ot t frnm vpar to vear anc 

strchy" la more than suggested by the re- iroui jcdi i" , Hl11 «*"*- 

jail of an Incident that happened on this 1 of the territory, , e handed ltion on tue pr ori<: 

3ate, when the Hungarian Diet refused to nines at Kaczak; ,.n _^ g a j rea( jv realize 

recognize the abdication of the Austrlan c>s t and richest iii|. nii 

Emperor Ferdinand, and denounced as l©" contributor in 

traitors those who accepted the present reign creditor?. If th» 

{Francis Joseph as Emperor of Austrla-,rk. 

Hungary. The "Holy Roman Kmpire." 

a fair degi • 

reign credito 

cost was in> 
if the people of 1(ll . h , lif p would 

of the western ve hvo U greater 

which had subsisted with 
continuity as the sequel 
Foman Empire for a thousand year*, wasSelgians, if this b. 

for the 

rth of th< 

Of ("Oil 


rmally terminated at the instance and on (J 1C United S 
;he advice of Napoleon Bonaparte between „ , „_ „„ . „. n 
L«04 and 1806. The last of the Holy Roman SS ^^ BMl J ml1 ' 
Sny^Pe^ rranrfs II.. dropped tba title andf rtn of Supplies to ]|, 
isrumed that of Francis I.. Emperor of Au = £S of the Belgians, , 
ria. He was succeeded in J 835 by his son. , rmans then tb< 

rerdlnand I., who had alreadv been "King" -i -,-. n «i «. ^.- 

>f Hungary for five years. It wss expect",. responsibility f. 
hat he would favor the development of gians are not . , , tr 

tberal Institutions, but he came undei ath, it has licnt ulhjh „ of anc e 

masterful influence _ of Prince MTtternich ' pplieg lnto Bllko-'^ 

ie location <>f that 

iVhen t,ho storm and pressure wave passed 

>v»r Europe In 1848 Metternlch was forced 

o flee, and Ferdinand abdicated in favor 

)f his nephew. Francis Joseph. Then ffo 

owed the Kossuth rebellion, which wa Ml _ western frontier*. 

uthlessly suppressed, and was follow©* bv .. f , , „ [)f> 

wenty years of Hungarian poljtfcad disturb- " g " Uie aoUl nern WO 

mces, till the present dual constitution was lhians - Under pres 

andwiched i[o(| u 

-i province ol Ga- , , 

rranted in lr ,T 
his organist 
econcilable : 
'or both Austr 

The inherent weakness ofduehy is almost in- 
is increased by the robust ^ 
ne Bohemiens and ttas ir- 

who might have 

of the numerous Slavs 

relieve the dis 

and Hungarians..^ Ton. Its sufferings havfl 
been borne in a dark corner of the 
world, and even if Bukowina had been 
able to appeal to the sympathies oi' 
neutrals in the way that Belgium has. 
the fact That it is in effect a battle- 
ground upon which the conflict still 
rages would make it extremely diffi- 
cult to give e aid. Only when 
the Russians are definitely masters of 
the whole duchy will i' be possible to j ^ 
relieve the people of Bukowina. 

-~r— lu r v tn v o 




i wealth grea 

,11 modern na' 

le people or 

t the Goveri 

n of om 

n a -levy of this nature 

ation n 

rs. instead 

ate few. If 

many valid ■< 

r of the < 






Gribble, Francis Henry 

The life of the flnperor 
Francis Joseph